Recommerce drives sustainability for retailers on earth day 2023
Earth Day is an important day to reflect on our actions and their impact on the environment. One of the most pressing environmental issues is furniture waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans threw out over 12 million tons of furniture in 2018, and over 80% of it ended up in landfills. This is where recommerce comes in - it offers a sustainable solution to extend the life cycle of retail products, benefitting both brands and consumers. In honor of Earth Day, we’ll explore how recommerce works, the sustainability benefits that it provides, and how FloorFound is partnering with retail brands to create a more circular future for all of their returned and resale items.
What is Recommerce?
Recommerce is the practice of reselling returned and open-box items to extend their lifecycle. It's a win-win-win solution - consumers can purchase high-quality second hand items at a lower cost, brands recover their sunk production costs on those returns, and the planet is made healthier as returns are kept in circulation.
Recommerce comes in a variety of forms including:
- Peer-to-peer resale marketplaces like Poshmark, ThredUp, and eBay
- B2C consignment services like Chairish and AptDeco
- Liquidation services like B-Stock, Kaiyo, and Loveseat
- Recommerce software such as Recurate
- End-to-end recommerce solutions such as FloorFound (for oversized) and Optoro (for parcelable)
We’ll discuss in more detail later on in this article which types of recommerce solutions are right for which types of business needs. But first, let’s take a look at who the recommerce customer is and why they shop resale.
Who Is the Recommerce Customer?
The typical recommerce customer tends to be a millennial (25-45) and lives in or near a major metropolitan area (New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle). These shoppers are not only the largest generation in America, but are also on track to become the primary economic buyer.
One key factor stands out to these resale customers when choosing where to purchase resale - trust. Shoppers are nearly 2x more likely to purchase resale from a retail brand versus Facebook marketplace, citing “trust about the condition of resale items” as the key reason. As resale grows in popularity, brands and retailers have an opportunity to seize the lead as trusted destinations for quality resale items.
Consumers Are Increasingly Shopping Resale for Sustainability
In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important consideration for shoppers when making purchasing decisions. This is particularly true when it comes to buying second-hand goods.
According to a recent survey carried out by FloorFound, sustainability is now the second most important motivator for buying second-hand furniture, with roughly 38% of respondents citing it as a reason to shop for used items. This is just behind “value”, which remains the top motivator across all age groups and demographics.
Interestingly, affluent shoppers with an income of $175,000 or more are buying resale at higher rates than their less affluent counterparts. Nearly 9 in 10 of these affluent shoppers (86%) have previously bought a resale item - 14 percentage points higher than the survey average. For this cohort, sustainability is even more important, with 44% citing it as a reason they would consider buying used items - 6 percentage points higher than less-affluent survey respondents.
In short, the importance of sustainability is growing in the minds of shoppers - especially younger generations and affluent buyers - and suggests that brands that focus on positive environmental benefits are likely to reach a wider audience. For brands looking to tap into this growing market, investing in recommerce and highlighting their environmental impact can be a powerful way to attract consumers and maximize revenue.
FloorFound’s Sustainable Recommerce Program
FloorFound’s goal is to partner with brands to extend the lifespan of oversized returns, resulting in a net positive impact on our environment. To date, we’ve helped brands keep 1.4M million pounds of oversized items in circulation.
We’ve been able to achieve this by designing the most comprehensive recommerce network in North America.
- We’ve invested in strategically located recommerce processing centers, which cuts down on the distance returns have to travel in order to be inspected and resold.
- We then put each returned item through a 7-step inspection process & dispositioning intelligence system to ensure that any item fit to find a new home gets the chance to do so.
- After inspection, we utilize proprietary and 3rd party resale channels, combined with our data-backed pricing system, to generate high-sell through rates on recommerce items.
The end result is that over 1.4M lbs of furniture have been placed in new homes, benefiting both buyers and brands.
FloorFound also launched a handful of climate-friendly capabilities and improvements in 2023. These include encouraging localized buying and reducing item transportation distance through the launch of a buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) option on FloorFound.store. The first FloorFound warehouse sale was held on 3/18/23 in Orange County, CA with plans to expand to more locations throughout the year.
Supporting The Earth, Every Day
On Earth Day (and every day) we should all consider ways we can invest in a more circular future. Recommerce presents a unique opportunity to both retailers and shoppers looking to implement more environmentally friendly practices into their mix. If you’re a shopper, consider resale first when looking to buy your next item - we recommend taking a look at floorfound.store, which carries resale furniture, appliances, and fitness equipment from top brands. If you’re a brand, join the recommerce revolution. Contact us or request a free demo to learn how your brand can thrive and help the planet with recommerce.