In preparation for the release of our upcoming Future Of Retail report, we reached out and spoke to Poshmark–a mobile application that coordinates peer-to-peer second-hand clothing shopping online. Shoppers can upload clothing from their personal collections, shop from posted items, and follow others with similar taste while Poshmark facilitates all payment transactions within its application. Twice weekly, the app features Posh Parties, which are hosted themed events where shoppers can upload and buy across themes, such as ‘patterned prints’ and ‘warm winter coats’, while chatting about products in real-time. Through bypassing traditional retail and second hand markets, the app lets consumers shop from another person’s closet and simplifies the exchange of goods online. We caught up with Tracy Sun, VP of Marketing, to get her thoughts.
Tell us a little about Poshmark. How does it work? What is the main idea behind the platform?
Poshmark is a mobile marketplace which dramatically simplifies buying and selling fashion. We’ve built a platform where our community members can connect with one another and shop their closets. We also make it easy for our members to sell items from their closet that they no longer wear. On the backend, Poshmark directly handles all transactions and shipping in the marketplace so that our members can buy and sell with confidence. Core to the Poshmark experience are real-time virtual shopping events called Posh Parties where people gather to connect and shop – straight from their iPhones.
Are there any notable figures or statistics around customer engagement and usage?
Our average user is spending as much time on Poshmark as they are on Facebook. They are listing, buying, attending virtual shopping parties, and socially engaging with others in the app. The community is vibrantly filled with both women who have sold before and those that have never even considered selling before. Together, both groups of women are adding half a million dollars of inventory to Poshmark every week. This number as well as the rest of our engagement metrics are really massive for a company that is 6 months out of the gate. This is telling us that we have really tapped into an unmet need for women across the country and we will continue to work towards servicing that need the best we can.
We have have noticed that a growing community marketplace enables people to buy, sell and swap outside of traditional retail. Do you see this trend manifesting on a wider scale? How so?
Yes, we think this is a quite a big opportunity. Every year in the US, we spend over $300B in apparel and accessories. That means that every 3 years we are putting a trillion dollars worth of fashion into our closets. Some of these items we wear regularly and will eventually need to be discarded or donated. But other items get worn once or twice or they are brand new and still have the tags on them. Where do those items go? We built Poshmark with the goal of providing a simple and easy option to sell these items from your closet.
Tell us about the social aspects of this platform? How will consumers benefit from connecting to one another around similar interests? How important is straightforward usability in this instance?
One of the first things that people typically notice about the Poshmark community is how social and engaged everyone is. Poshmark users are really talking to one another. These social interactions serve as the foundation for our community. Users are on Poshmark to interact with other users, not just to buy and sell fashion. A people centric model enables users to connect to others who have similar style and taste and shop their closets. We call them stylemates. On Poshmark you can follow your stylemates and create a personalized collection of merchandise curated just for you. This is really powerful and our community has responded very well to this. Also, key to the Poshmark experience is attending a virtual shopping and listing party called a Posh Party. During these times, our entire community comes together in the app to buy and sell items around predetermined themes such as ‘Designer Handbags’ or ‘Vintage.’ You can really see the energy and enthusiasm of our community at these parties. Our community will tell you that Poshmarking is much better with friends.