When co-founder, Mary Fallon, and I started Kidizen in early 2014, a phenomenon called Buy/Sell/Trade (“BST”) groups on Facebook and Instagram were just starting to gain traction. We weren’t surprised to see the growing interest in resale. There were a number of emerging trends that were helping to propel this shift in consumer behavior, including a desire to access higher-end products and make more eco-conscious buying decisions. This was, and continues to be, particularly true for millennial moms who recognize they can get a return on their investment by selling the items their kids have outgrown.
One thing we found particularly interesting: the a majority of BST groups were centered around certain brands and the sheer size and number of groups that existed for a single brand was staggering. Tula, for example, is a small company that sells high-end baby carriers, but it has 125K members in just one of the 50+ Tula-specific BST groups on Facebook.
The Future of Retail
The rise of resale across the retail industry is hard to ignore these days. According to one industry report, online resale in the apparel category is growing 24x faster than traditional retail—with an expected market of $41 billion by 2022. It would be natural for brands to view resale as a threat and want to wish it away. All signs, however, indicate that resale isn’t going away anytime soon.
“BRANDS HARNESSING THE POWER OF RESALE COMMUNITIES HAVE FOUND A STRONG SECONDARY MARKET ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THEIR PRIMARY MARKET.”
The crazy thing is, resale can be a benefit to brands—if they know how to leverage it. Brands that have taken the leap to harness the power of resale communities have found that a strong secondary market supports their primary market. The founder at GroVia, one of Kidizen’s first partner brands, explains it succinctly:
“By being more involved in your brand’s resale communities, you are improving sales because customers are able to sell off the products they no longer need or they are looking to trade out for newer prints, colors, or styles. Customers then use those funds to purchase new products while allowing another family to benefit from their used products…it’s a win-win!”
Instead of turning a blind eye, we’re seeing more partner brands using resale as a key component of their marketing strategy and getting big results, including:
- Their most loyal and passionate customers coming together to express and amplify their brand love.
- New customers being adopted into the brand’s tribe, where they receive tips, product reviews, and validation for their purchases.
- A community where they can demonstrate and promote the quality of their products An increase in lifetime value (LTV) for their customers who participate in resale communities.
If your brand is curious about taking its first steps into what designer Stella McCartney calls the “make well, buy well, resell” model, there are a handful of ways to get involved.
Make It Easy
Start by creating an easy path for customers to resell the items they no longer need; invest in the infrastructure (like Patagonia’s Worn Wear platform) or the partnership (like our web portal for kids’ brand June & January) to reduce barriers.
Give Back With Rewards
Reward your customer’s participation in resale communities through a loyalty program that grants new store credit for selling used items (we facilitate programming for GroVia and June & January that serves this purpose).
Get Ready to Participate
Engage with customers who are already in resale communities, let them know you are there and ready to listen and learn; use it as an opportunity to promote your sustainability efforts ( do this through social brand pages inside the Kidizen marketplace).
It might seem counterintuitive, but resale is the solution brands need to break through the noise in today’s suffering retail environment. The right approach is an individual choice for each brand, but with the right partner by your side, it can be done. And more than that, it can make a big difference to your bottom line. We look forward to watching these shifts happen and welcome the opportunity to connect with anyone who wants to learn—and do—more together.
Join me at SB’18 Vancouver, June 4-7, 2018 in the “Promising Growth Models Based on Innovative Sharing and Cooperation” session on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 to learn how innovative brands are achieving sustainable growth by enabling customers to share knowledge, used goods, and even of ownership and control of the enterprise. See you in Vancouver!
By Dori Graff, Co-founder & CMO, Kidizen
May 22, 2018