Poshmark is going live — at the grass-roots level. The social commerce platform next week will begin hosting more than 1,000 Posh ‘n Coffee events across all 50 states to educate potential entrepreneurs about how to sell online. Hosted by 1,000 of the site’s ambassadors, the free programs will be held at local Starbucks.
“We did a trial of the events last fall,” said Poshmark founder and chief executive officer Manish Chandra. “It will take social selling to a whole new level.”
Chandra on Tuesday announced that Poshmark had reached a milestone with 100 million orders placed on the platform in 2019. “Social commerce is driving the biggest shifts at retail,” he said, adding, “the size and scale of the circular economy has become apparent.
“We continue to investigate all the options, and at the right time, it will happen,” said Chandra about launching an initial public offering. “Today’s market doesn’t seem all that conducive,” he said in a reference to the coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc on global financial markets.
Poshmark’s ceo said he’s spoken to luxury brands and continues to have conversations with them, but declined to give any names. “There’s nothing to prevent the brands from engaging and joining today,” Chandra said. “They may already be experimenting with resale and it may unbeknownst to us. Social commerce is about the people and making them the center of the revolution. People are becoming sellers, influencers and even brands.”
A new Poshmark report, “2020: The Year of Social Shopping,” released Tuesday, draws on insights from more than 8,000 shoppers as well as Poshmark’s community of 60 million members and identifies how resale is fueling larger changes across the industry.
“The Year” contains data on how the various generations prefer to shop. For example, resale is especially popular with Gen Z and Gen X, with the latter a cohort that nonetheless loves the mall. Millennial closets are the most diverse with traditional mall brands and emerging labels, while Boomers shop at value chains more than the other generations.
Chandra said luxury brands could glean insights and data from conversations between buyers and sellers occurring on the platform. “One thing that’s missing is the brands involvement,” he said. “Social shopping is enabling the adoption of new and existing luxury brands. That’s not something brands are fully leveraging.”
Nonetheless, Chandra sees luxury brands eventually coming around. “Strategic partnerships will happen. In the last year or so, the recognition of the space has been very significant in the minds [of luxury brands]. They don’t know how to act on it.
“Last year was a pivotal year for social commerce due to the surging popularity of resale,” he said. “The retail landscape shifted drastically as consumers embraced new ways to shop and think about their closets. Social shopping democratizes retail, meaning anyone, from anywhere, can build a successful brand. Consumers in 2020 will continue to have an inherent desire for connection, redefining what it means to buy and sell, and making social shopping synonymous with retail.”