THE RISE OF RECOMMERCE: WHY CONSUMERS SHOP RESALE
Recommerce, or the buying and selling of pre-owned items, has been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly for large items such as furniture and appliances. This trend is driven by several factors, including sustainability, financial benefits, uniqueness, and ethical considerations. With recommerce growing twice as fast as the wider retail market and predicted to reach $289 billion by 2027, it's clear that this trend is here to stay. In this blog post, we explore the various reasons why consumers are turning to recommerce and the impact it is having on the retail industry.
The Sustainability Factor
One of the primary reasons that consumers are turning to recommerce for large items such as furniture and appliances is sustainability. The environmental impact of returns is considerable, with countless returns ending up in landfills every year. The EPA estimates that 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 the environment, brands, and consumers.
Nearly 40% of shoppers cite sustainability as a key reason they buy resale, with that number increasing to 44% for affluent shoppers who earn more than $175,000 per year. By purchasing pre-owned items, consumers are reducing waste and promoting a circular economy. This not only helps the environment but also helps to create a more sustainable future for retail.
The Financial Factor
Another key reason why consumers are choosing to shop resale for large items such as furniture, appliances, and fitness equipment is financial. Large items such as mattresses, sofas, and fridges can be expensive to purchase new, and many consumers simply cannot afford the high prices - especially in this economic environment. Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers cite 'saving money' as the reason they purchase resale.
Additionally, many resale shoppers are able to purchase products from higher-end brands that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford or be willing to pay for. For brands, this means they’re tapping into an entirely new customer segment they didn’t have access to before. In a win-won for both customers and brands.
The Unique Factor
In addition to sustainability and financial benefits, many consumers are drawn to recommerce for because of the unique factor. Shopping for pre-owned items can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, as consumers never know what treasures they might find. Many shoppers are seeking out unique and vintage items that cannot be found in traditional retail stores. In a recent survey, 39% of shoppers said they purchase resale in order to “find unique items that aren’t widely available.” Retailers who lean into resale can tap into this
The moral factor (Shopping with values)
Finally, the moral factor is another reason why consumers are turning to recommerce for large items such as furniture and appliances. Many shoppers are looking to support companies and brands that align with their values, including those that promote sustainability and other ethical practices. By shopping resale, consumers can support companies and brands that are committed to reducing waste and creating a more sustainable future.
The RISE OF RECOMMERCE & ITS FUTURE
The recommerce market grew twice as fast as the wider retail market in 2021, according to research from OfferUp, and is expected to reach $289 billion by 2027. Fashion resale alone is predicted to double to exceed $30 billion by 2025. Additionally, more than six in 10 consumers have already bought used items such as sofas and dining room tables, and the majority of those buyers plan to make another resale purchase in the coming year. These statistics highlight the growing popularity of recommerce and the impact it is having on the retail industry.
At then end of the day, there are many reasons why consumers are increasingly choosing to shop resale. From sustainability and financial benefits to unique and moral considerations, recommerce offers a compelling alternative to traditional retail. As the recommerce market continues to grow, consumers will have more opportunities to shop pre-owned items and make a positive impact on the environment and the retail industry as a whole. Retailers who position themselves properly will capture tremendous value for years to come.