Poshmark joins the behemoths of social media by capitalizing on a captive consumer base by adding video functionality to its fashion market that aims to make buying used clothing on your phone more like shopping.
With stores and restaurants closed and millions of people stranded at home, platforms like Zoom, TikTok and Instagram thrive, and now the San Francisco-based business selling second-hand clothes, shoes, and accessories , will allow its eight million sellers to post live 15-second videos or download footage from their phones that are directly linked to the items they sell.
Poshmark was founded by Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala and Chetan Pungaliya in 2011 to enable women to sell clothes they no longer wore. The app allows them to like and comment on other people’s ads, which has helped make Poshmark a more personal experience than buying used items on eBay. It has since spread to categories such as men’s fashion, children and interior design, reducing sales by 20%. In 2019, he said he paid sellers $ 2 billion, double the previous year. It was would have valued at $ 1.25 billion after some existing investors sold shares in a side deal last year, according to the Wall Street newspaper.
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The company has been building and testing a video option for more than a year and planned to deploy it in the second half of 2020, but has accelerated the launch due to the pandemic so that it can offer a more real experience to buyers. The new functionality allows sellers to show how they styled an outfit they have for sale or to preview how they acquired a particular item, for example. The content will disappear automatically after 48 hours.
The feature mimics Instagram, which allows influencers and brands to tag clothing, furniture, or other items in their posts and link to a website where they are available for purchase. Instagram has doubled its shopping functionality and last year began allowing customers to order from certain retailers without leaving the app. Social shopping apps such as LikeToKnow also offer people the opportunity to shop the looks they see on celebrities and influencers. However, none allows the purchase of second-hand clothing, a growing segment 21 times faster than the overall clothing market.
Physical retail is challenged in this environment, says Chandra, 52, CEO. There are so many ways people search and turn to the Internet.
Chandra hopes the video will increase engagement and sales for its 60 million registered users, who spend an average of 23 to 27 minutes a day on the Poshmark app. With purchases generally correlated with time spent on a service, Poshmark sees it as a way to forge a better connection between buyers and sellers, and to help move the $ 175 million inventory that is downloaded to its platform each week ( Poshmark has no inventory, letting users buy and sell directly from each other).
While many retailers are struggling amid prolonged store closings and an impending recession that has cut discretionary spending, Chandra says Poshmarks activity has been fairly stable. A wave of new sellers has turned to the additional revenue platform after cleaning their closets or even as the main source of income. The biggest challenge is demand. Poshmark is dependent on clothing sales, which fell 52 percent nationally in March, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Chandra declined to provide details, but says demand has recovered after an early delay.
We were worried at the start of the crisis, says Chandra. But it seems to have balanced.
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