As resellers warn, ignoring the traction of the secondhand market is the equivalent to idle consumers who let valued clothing items pile up in the backs of their closets — what is the potential payoff?
Sifting through the marketplaces, WWD partnered with SimilarWeb, a machine-learning-powered, data-driven web site traffic statistics and market intelligence firm analyzing more than 80 million web sites, to uncover the top 10 resale sites as of May 2019, based on search data. Ebay topped the list, followed by Poshmark and ThredUp.
Trailing the announcement of The RealReal going public (with a recent $1.5 billion IPO valuation for the anticipated $51 billion secondhand apparel market, according to ThredUp reports), resale is not a trend. It’s anchored in good favor and changing consumer behavior, led by Millennials and Gen Z-ers.
Ebay Ranks First
Based on the data, Ebay.com is May’s leading resale site in the U.S. It received 95 percent of total traffic sent to the top 11 sites at 659.1 million visits. As a peer-to-peer marketplace platform, Poshmark.com is the second runner-up, receiving 2.4 percent of the traffic at 16.4 million visits. Whether by its longer foothold in the market, being founded in 1995, eBay seems to welcome brand recognition by consumers of all generations.
Alongside identifying the sites with top traffic, the results showed the top traffic sources directing to the top resale sites, in context with year-over-year visits for secondhand market players such as luxury reseller The RealReal; marketplace for new and used everything, eBay, and peer-to-peer marketplaces such as Depop, Poshmark, ThredUp and more.
After direct visits, search is the largest source of traffic to the category. The combination of organic and paid search accounts for nearly 21 percent of all visits, driven heavily by organic.
SimilarWeb’s insights reveal the following ranking, in “U.S. Resale Site Ranking.” The analysis is based on desktop and mobile for May.
1. Ebay.com at 659.1 million total visits.
2. Poshmark.com at 16.4 million total visits.
3. Thredup.com at 3.98 million total visits.
4. Therealreal.com at 3.52 million total visits.
5. Grailed.com at 2.62 million total visits.
6. Goat.com at 2.30 million total visits.
7. 1stDibs.com at 1.91 million total visits.
8. Depop.com at 1.52 million total visits.
9. Stadiumgoods.com at 1.34 million total visits.
10. Vestiairecollective.com at 306,000 total visits.
11. Rebag.com at 154,000 total visits.
Best in SEO: Depop
Growth fostered by its community, Depop champions the Gen Z narrative of favoring personal style over informed trends. The community, often leading with loud, Y2K (abbreviation for year 2000) and branded streetwear fashion or aspirational luxury, is supercharged and vocal — word-of-mouth is a key strategy for organic growth, according to Depop’s marketing team.
According to the results, the site excelling the most at SEO is Depop. As of May, 100 percent of their traffic was organic, meaning potential customers found them by circumstance and search. The top 10 non-branded organic key words sending traffic to Depop included items such as: “Balenciaga track jacket,” “Joy Tsao,” “urban outfitter Chinese brocade,” “smallclosetprobz,” and “Tommy Hilfiger faux alligator purse,” perhaps referencing trending fashion among their dominant customer segment.
Channels of Growth
Search engine optimization aside, e-mail marketing and social media are the next largest contributors of traffic to the top resale sites. Ebay receives 95.1 percent of all email traffic sent to the category, followed by Poshmark at 3.4 percent. According to the data, eBay also receives the majority of social traffic sent to the category at 88.4 percent, followed by Poshmark at 6.3 percent.
Rebag saw more than 152.4 percent growth year-over-year growth and Depop came in at more than 60 percent. In comparison, the other sites evaluated typically saw a minus-3.4 percent downtrend in traffic year-over-year.
“These changes typically suggest a critical shift in marketing strategy,” said Ilana Marks, marketing data analyst at SimilarWeb, and author of the report.
Rebag grew its direct site visits by 14.7 percent, “indicative of strengthening brand awareness.” The site also placed more emphasis on pay-per-click advertising with a 9.1 percent increase in paid search and a 2.4 percent increase in display ads. “Depop seems to be placing emphasis more so on SEO strategies, with a 9.3 percent increase in organic search year-over-year,” added Marks.
Competition for resale market share will likely continue with increased attention on paid and organic search, with social media and e-mail marketing driving new customer retention.