The recommerce customer and why recommerce matters
The world of retail is constantly evolving, and one of the most significant changes in recent years has been the rise of recommerce - the reselling of pre-owned items such as returns and open-box products. As a result of a rapidly changing economic environment and a growing demand for more sustainable practices, recommerce has become an increasingly popular trend. Let's explore what recommerce is, the importance of recommerce for brands, who the recommerce customer is, and how brands can participate in this booming trend.
What is Recommerce?
Recommerce is the reselling of pre-owned items such as returns and open-box products. It offers a sustainable solution to extend the life cycle of retail products that benefits both brands and consumers.
Recommerce comes in a variety of forms, but there are two key players we want to focus in on: Enablement platforms and marketplaces. There are a large number of resale marketplaces such as Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and others, which focus on the remarketing and resale aspect of recommerce. End-to-end enablement solutions, like FloorFound, manage the entire returns process from picking up returns from customers' homes, bringing those items back to a facility and inspecting them, repackaging them, reselling them, and finally delivering them to a new home. Understanding the different types of recommerce solutions is the first step towards knowing which solution will work best for your brand.
The Growth of Recommerce
Recommerce is booming, and it is projected that in the next two years, two in ten products purchased online will be resale. Retailers prepared to participate will capture hundreds of billions of dollars in value. Fashion recommerce alone is over $30 billion in market value, with oversized recommerce (appliances, furniture, and fitness equipment) following closely behind.
Recommerce is growing twice as fast as the wider retail market and is expected to continue growing at double-digit rates in the coming years. In addition, seven out of ten US consumers have purchased resale items online, with nearly 2 in 3 U.S. consumers planning to buy resale items in the next 1-2 years.
The Importance of Recommerce for Brands
Recommerce provides considerable financial benefits for brands. Recommerce turns returns into revenue, and without recommerce, brands are writing off an average of about 90% of the revenue on 10% of all sales. The reason for this is traditional returns solutions such as liquidation only provide an average of 10% revenue recovery. The typical brand selling e-commerce products sees at least a 10% rate of returns on their sales, and the net result is that brands write off 90% of the revenue on 10% of their sales.
By utilizing recommerce, brands can recover upwards of 30% revenue recovery compared to liquidation and other alternatives. It’s important to remember that returned items already have a sunk cost directly attached to them, so by recommercing returns, brands are putting dollars back into their bottom line.
The environmental impact of returns is considerable, with countless returns ending up in landfills every year. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that on average, Americans threw out over 12 million tons of furniture in 2018, and over 80% of it ended up in landfills. Recommerce offers a sustainable solution to extend the life cycle of retail products, benefitting both brands and consumers.
Shoppers today are becoming increasingly motivated by their values - specifically sustainability. Brands can now do the right thing for the environment by participating in the circular economy, while also appealing to consumers who are increasingly shopping with eco-friendly brands.
Acquisition of New Customers
In addition to recovering more MSRP from returns, brands also acquire new customers through recommerce. At FloorFound, we find that on average 75% of recommerce customers are new to a brand and 25% of them purchase a full-price item within 30 days. This means that returns sitting in your warehouses, being abandoned at consumers homes, or simply being liquidated or disposed of can now be used to acquire new customers.
One common concern we hear from brands is around cannibalizing their sales for new products by implementing recommerce. However, the data shows the exact opposite to be true. Instead, they are missing out on the opportunity to acquire a whole new segment of customers who have been proven to become repeat buyers.
The Recommerce Customer
Who and why?
Now that we’ve discussed what recommerce is and why it’s important that brands pay attention to it, let’s take a look at who these recommerce shoppers are. The core recommerce customer is a city-dwelling millennial, between the ages of 25 to 45, who lives in large metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle. These consumers are driven by three key motivators:
- value/saving money
- finding unique items
In a recent FloorFound study, we asked consumers why they shop resale and here's what they told us
It comes as no surprise that recommerce shoppers are looking to save money, however what is surprising is the degree to which these shoppers care about sustainability. Nearly 40% of resale shoppers cite sustainability as a key reason they buy resale, according to our recent study. Brands that tap into these motivators can experience considerable customer acquisition growth and exponential ROI when acquiring these customers.
The FloorFound Recommerce Report also showed that 67% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand or retailer that offers resale. This rises to 76% for high-income shoppers making more than $175,000 per year. When it comes to recommerce, it’s important to highlight the value shoppers place on customer experience. Eight in ten shoppers expect the same experience when buying resale versus new items. This means the buying experience of a brand’s recommerce program must mirror the experience of buying a new product.
Acquiring Recommerce Customers
As an end-to-end recommerce solution for brands, we have seen first hand the value of acquiring recommerce customers. One of the most impressive data points we’ve seen is a ROAS of 14.3. This is well above the norm for e-commerce and other industries and means that recommerce customers essentially pay for themselves 14 times over once acquired. These customers are a marketer's dream - they have a high ROAS, relatively low cost to acquire, and they become repeat customers.
How Brands Can Get Started With Recommerce
Hopefully you now have a better sense of what recommerce is, who the recommerce customer is, and why they're valuable to your brand. If you’re interested in taking the next step towards implementing recommerce for your brand, we recommend first looking at an end-to-end recommerce solution (like FloorFound for oversized returns and Optoro for parcelable returns). These solutions are able to handle all the necessary components of recommerce from item pickup through resale and customer support. This means that you don't have to worry about the logistics of recommerce and can focus on the benefits it brings to their business.
At FloorFound, we offer free consultative calls to help you understand how a recommerce program could work for your brand. We pride ourselves on our easy-to-use end-to-end solution and can help you go live with your recommerce program in less than 45 days. Click here if you’d like to jump on a free consultative call or click ‘get a demo’ in the top right hand corner of your screen.
If you're interested in learning more about how to get started with recommerce, we recommend checking out our "Guide to Getting Started with Recommerce". It's a comprehensive resource that will walk you through the process step-by-step and provide tips on how to make the most out of your recommerce program.