Recommerce or reverse commerce is the selling of second-hand products online by established brands or by using platforms exclusively designed for recommerce. This is a growing trend due to a significant change in customers’ attitudes. Customers are increasingly looking for products that are environmentally friendly and aligned with sustainable development goals. Estimates suggest that recommerce will grow between 15% and 20% per year over the next five years. As it means so much to customers, it will be fruitful for brands and e-commerce businesses to understand this trend and assess how to integrate it into their global pricing and sales strategy. Recommerce will help improve the corporate image and drive profits by strengthening the bond with the most environmentally conscious users.
How to set up recommerce in your online store
Many consumers already know of exclusive recommerce platforms, such as Vinted or Wallapop. As an e-commerce business, you can also get behind this type of commerce. You can apply it to your business in various ways, depending on your objectives and needs. The possibilities are endless. Below are several key examples of brands, including clothing stores, which already make a high return on their recommerce models.
The Levis model:
The clothing brand sells second-hand items on its own digital platform. Users sell their used garments to Levis. The brand then gives them a voucher to purchase other garments, and the used items come back on the market. Transactions are only possible with Levis branded garments.
The H&M model:
The Swedish brand chose to allow the sale of second-hand items from any brand through a new app. H&M shows increased commitment to sustainability. Currently, the application is available in 20 European countries. Through the interface you can buy, sell, and ship garments. Similarly, the multi-brand store Zalando has also created a section to sell second-hand products, where users can publish items they wish to sell.
The French group Veepee, which includes Privalia, has chosen to transform the return of articles into sales between private individuals. Users get the same price or even a higher price for a product they don’t want. The product gets a second life by going directly from one consumer to another, releasing stock to the retailer.
All platforms or commerce websites must have an attractive design where the images of different articles play the starring role. Users need to be encouraged to publish high-quality photographs that clearly show the product’s features. Some sellers even carry out quality checks for each garment, or item, before uploading it to their sales portal. You need to ensure ease of purchase and easy and affordable delivery terms, as you would in your direct-selling e-commerce business. This gives users the best shopping experience and boosts their loyalty.
When done correctly, recommerce allows brands to strengthen their corporate image and increase profits in terms of sales commissions or direct sales, as in the case of Levis. Start by looking at other companies’ sustainability policies in the sector. If they have a recommerce platform, analyse your competitors’ second-hand prices as well. Ultimately your goal is to achieve a more competitive position.