Inside Retail: How do you plan to grow the platform locally? Will you have anyone on the ground?
Manish Chandra: Community is at the heart of everything we do at Poshmark. Prior to launch, Poshmark invited select Australians to participate in a private beta program to help build our community in Australia. These users had the ability to test the marketplace and its capabilities. To engage and retain these users over the long term and to attract new users, Poshmark offers community events like PoshFest and Posh N Sip to build knowledge, strengthen community, and share helpful tips for selling on Poshmark. The community will continue to grow organically as word spreads in the Australian market.
We have a growing team on the ground in Australia who is partnering with our US team to help grow the community globally. We look forward to growing our presence over time.
IR: There are a lot of different places for consumers to buy and sell secondhand fashion and other items, from Vestiaire Collective, to Depop, and even Facebook Marketplace. How does Poshmark stand out?
MC: Poshmark has become a leading marketplace in large part because of three unique ways we support our community to make it simple and easy to buy and sell: social engagement, storefront services and logistics and payment services.
Poshmark was built to provide a truly social experience, allowing anyone to connect with like-minded individuals. In addition to community events such as PoshFest and Posh N Sip and social interactions including likes, shares, follows, comments and offers, one key social feature is Posh Parties: real-time, virtual shopping events where users can shop, share, and sell their new and preloved items.
Participating in Posh Party is not only an easy way to get more visibility for your listings, but it also allows our community to interact with one another and meet new Poshers. Additionally, Poshmark offers the unique opportunity for sellers to become Posh Ambassadors: a program for our most engaged community members who help usher in, welcome, and educate new users as they become part of the Poshmark community. Posh Ambassador benefits include getting recommended to new Poshers, receiving an exclusive newsletter and unlocking access to fun programs and opportunities.
Our integrated storefront, logistics and payment services make it easy for anyone to sell, which we refer to as making selling a superpower. To make a listing, it’s as easy as snapping a photo of the item for sale with an iPhone or Android, filling in a description, setting the price and it can be done in just 60 seconds. Throughout this process, we provide dynamic pricing tools to help our sellers control the pricing of their listings and manage buyer negotiations.
Other logistics and payment services that separate Poshmark from competitors include:
● Posh Protect
Poshmark gives buyers peace of mind on each purchase with Posh Protect. When purchasing on the marketplace, Poshmark holds payment to the seller until the buyer receives the order as described.
● Posh Authentication
When buyers purchase a luxury item over A$700 on Poshmark, the item is shipped directly to Poshmark HQ in Australia for authentication. Poshmark’s team of luxury experts carefully inspect the item’s authenticity by checking logos, tags, materials, hardware, quality and more. Once authenticity is confirmed, Poshmark packages the item with care and ships it to the user. If the authenticity of the item cannot be verified, a refund is sent immediately to the buyer.
● Posh Post
For streamlined shipping that benefits buyers and sellers, Poshmark has integrated delivery partner Sendle into the marketplace. Once an order has been made, sellers are provided with a label for the items to be picked up and delivered to its desired location. Within the marketplace, both the buyer and seller can track the delivery. This integration takes the stress out of shipping and delivery.
IR: What do you think is driving the resale boom?
MC: The retail industry is experiencing a rapid shift to online, a shift to social and a shift to secondhand, with shoppers prioritising price, convenience and sustainability. We recently commissioned research that shows 79 per cent of Aussies have increased their online shopping presence in 2020. Even as online shopping spikes, sustainability is a growing focus for shoppers — over half (52 per cent) of Aussies admitted to focusing on brands and platforms that are sustainable and eco-friendly.
As sustainability continues to trend amongst Aussies, secondhand and resale continues to grow in popularity in Australia, particularly among the younger generation. In fact, close to a quarter (22 per cent) of the nation have increased their thrift shopping over the last few years, focusing their efforts on reducing overall consumption and supporting a more sustainable economy.
IR: What parts of the Poshmark business are you investing in right now to drive growth?
MC: We’re focused on continuing to drive innovation to enhance our social marketplace, adding new categories, expanding seller tools and services and further expanding internationally, all with the goal of making shopping and selling simple, social and sustainable.
IR: Can you tell me more about Poshmark’s social shopping features, and why you think social shopping is the future of online retail?
MC: I founded Poshmark on the belief that the future of shopping is social and sustainable — and that our inherent desire for human connection would ultimately transform the e-commerce experience. That vision has materialised before my eyes, and on a scale that was hardly imaginable 10 years’ back. There are three key trends that have contributed to the growing adoption of social commerce:
- Social connection is deeply embedded in the shopping experience. While the glory days of the mall continue to fade away, our desire for a social shopping experience has not.
- Sustainability is core to who we are and how we operate. Ten years ago, fast fashion was the dominant paradigm and only a small sliver of consumers even considered resale as an option. Today, major brands are actively responding to the explosion of resale. And consumers, particularly the younger generations who are mindful of their own environmental impact, are adopting secondhand style at an exciting pace.
- As e-commerce has grown, consumers have benefited from vast selection. But today’s consumers don’t just want to buy — they also want to sell, they want to engage, and participate in the passion economy. And that’s what’s happening on Poshmark — people are making money through casual selling, side hustles and thriving businesses.
Poshmark offers several social marketing services for sellers to engage with others and promote their listings, resulting in a deeply personal online shopping experience. Two of these include Reposh, which gives sellers a one-click way to resell items they bought on our marketplace, and Posh Stories, which enable sellers to showcase and sell their listings in short videos and photos to make it easy for users to discover and shop.
There is a strong correlation between the overall level of engagement on our social marketplace and the frequency of transactions. In 2019, 87 per cent of items purchased were preceded by a like, comment, or offer on our marketplace. That’s why we’re focused on increasing engagement between users by adding new discovery elements and continuing to make the Poshmark experience simple, social and sustainable.
The conditions for Poshmark’s success have never been better — and our social marketplace is well-positioned to lead the next era of shopping.