As e-commerce marketplaces get bigger and bigger, adding products exponentially, they may be doing themselves and consumers a disservice if customers can’t find what they’re looking for amid the vast thicket of inventory.
“With more than five million sellers and more than 75 million pieces of inventory on Poshmark, the virtual marketplace becomes bigger and bigger. As we get bigger, we want to make sure we curate special shopping experiences for buyers and sellers,” said Tracy Sun, senior vice president of new markets. “We don’t need to get more inventory.”
Manish Chandra, Poshmark’s chief executive officer, said with 40 million users, the social commerce platform powers a sale every minute and is the front-runner of the retail social commerce pack. While Poshmark started as a resale app, the five million businesses operating on the platform include everything from small second-hand closets to branded boutiques.
“It’s the largest social selling platform,” said Chandra. “There’s a lot of repeat activity. The active user spends 20 to 25 minutes and opens the app seven to nine times a day. It’s a hyper-engaged, social media-focused consumer.”
Chandra said a unique feature of Poshmark is its ability to provide personal service. “Today you get niche with high prices and high touch, or mass,” he said. “We’re bringing back the human connection. We do this across the vast inventory of 75 million sku’s. The future of Poshmark is as an alternative to transactional sites like Amazon. We’re bringing back old-school retail. We announced that we distributed over $1 billion to our seller-stylists,” Chandra said, referring to the payout since 2011 to the site’s community of four million sellers.
“We’re launching Poshmarkets, mini malls within our large fashion platform,” Chandra said. “We’re also launching plus sizes and gifts. Our consumers can go to a specialty retailer now. This wouldn’t have been possible without technology underpinning everything.”
Sun said for the holiday season, Poshmark brought gift sellers “into one temporary community where they sell and consumers can buy. There’s a heavy emphasis on scarves and leather and jewelry and cold weather items. There’s been a lot of excitement around cozy sweaters and fun socks. We put them all together in one spot for shoppers to peruse. The cool thing about working on this project is we’re bringing together six million items from sellers across the country.”
The gift market launches guides for Him, Her, Kids and more. “We’re seeing 15,000 shoppers visiting this market daily,” Sun said. “Our plans beyond the gift market are very ambitious. We’ve seen for the launch, Poshmark is a platform that wants to support our seller-stylists. Those on the launch of the gift market are doing better. We’re committed to launching more markets. We’re thinking of expanding to more and more users.
“We launched plus sizes and petites, and maternity is one avenue we’re pursuing,” Sun added. “Another avenue is to launch new things, there’s many areas of that. Now we’re in fashion and accessories. We can also do a market to cater to very specialized shopping interests such as fine watches. The number of people who’d be excited to shop that type of market is smaller because it’s more niche.”
Chandra revealed that Poshmark will be launching in Canada. The ceo also shared his thoughts on a brick-and-mortar presence for the site.
“The physical experience is part of what we want to create,” he said. “[Stores] are powerful for connecting seller stylists. We have a vision around it. We haven’t pulled the trigger yet because so many parts of the business are growing very fast.
“The physical expression is always going to be there,” he said. “One area we’re looking at is direct-to-consumer brands. We’re looking at scale and size and volume. We’ve given them some marketing dollars to jump-start their businesses. They start by selling their closets and then create their own collections.”