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reCommerce Retail: What Digital Marketing Strategy to Choose

Digital Marketing
February 14, 2020
9 min

Recommerce retail is a developing trend, and there are good reasons for this. We live in a time when even children know everything about eco trends (some of them have won the Nobel Prize for that). This means that the high popularity of the environmental movement influences other areas of life. In particular, it promoted the recommerce model. Imagine an online second-hand when a customer doesn’t have to rummage through piles of clothes but can choose the desired style and size online.

At the same time, the trader is responsible for the quality and the condition of the things they sell. This trend appeared as a reaction to the Mindful Consumption tendency and was supported by both top retailers and celebrities. Nevertheless, this area is comparatively new for online business. Thus, there’s a lot of space for development and implementation of creative strategies.

What is reCommerce

Recommerce is a business model based on the concept of the reuse of products. The term was first introduced in 2005 in the New York Times interview with the Forrester Research CEO, George F. Colony talking about changes in technology selling models. Later the term evolved to what we have now.

Talking about the history of recommerce, the phenomenon appeared much earlier in the format of flea markets and garage sales. But the appearance of eBay and similar websites made it easier for individuals to sell and buy goods that have already been in usage. When the world started talking about mindful consumption, many companies reacted to the trend and developed centralized platforms for re-used goods.

On the other side, some celebrities, such as Kardashian sisters, Stephan Jenkins, Lena Dunham, and DJ Khaled, attracted attention to the problem of selling their own clothes to raise money for charity. Nowadays recommerce is introduced with different business models, including:

  • Selling reused items;
  • Renting or exchange of goods;
  • Renovating or adapting things;
  • Deconstruction to the components;
  • Recycling items (both upcycling and downcycling);
  • Replacing components;
  • Return systems;
  • Repair cafes (places where users help each other repair goods).

According to the statistics, introduced by Brandon Gaille in 2018, the most popular platforms for selling private property were eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist. And the most popular recommerce brands which pioneered this business model were Yerdle, the RealReal, the Renewal Workshop, thredUp, etc.

The recommerce potential buyers: Who are they

Continuing Brandon Gaille statistics, the most popular re-sold item is clothing, followed by books, music CDs and movie DVDs, as well as video games. Talking about recommerce businesses, we should also mention technological devices, jewelry, accessories, OTC medical supplies, and pieces of art.

According to the report introduced by Facebook IQ on the 2020 trends, the number of recommerce consumers has grown by 10% compared to 2018, while the number of resellers has quadrupled. Most people buy vintage clothes and luxury goods on Facebook, as it is the easiest, and probably the cheapest way to access brand items. As we see from the report, an average recommerce buyer is a female, 35-54 years old, and, at the same time, most of the resellers are women aged 18-34.

secondhand 2020 generation Z

Recommerce solutions: How to generate sales

Although the trend is quite new, there is no need to reinvent the wheel during strategic planning sessions. The old and proven AIDA purchase funnel perfectly works for the recommerce businesses. Let’s have a closer look at that.

the aida model


Awareness is about making your potential customers informed on your products. You can use the means of Facebook Ads, advantages of the platforms you use, or YouTube pre-roll ads to promote your product.

Keep in mind that the recommerce trend works well with value-based advertising. Creating the value of Mindful Consumption and promoting eco-friendliness, you make it easier to increase your brand awareness.

Focus on the content connected with the benefits of re-used goods and spread it among the audience with interests in nature, ecology, and consumption. You can find your audience at thematic groups in social media channels, communities on Reddit or Quora.


Focus on the values of your audience and suggest to them the ways how your company fulfills it. For example, lots of people are highly concerned about climate change in Australia and have sent support funds to the Australian emergency services and charities. Climate change prevention was the value for those people.

Talk with your audience about the connection between the reused or recycled goods and the prevention of the greenhouse effect, which is the main reason for most climate changes.

To build trust, use the means of affiliate marketing, collaborating with influencers with a similar audience. A perfect idea is to find those influencers, who are the experts in the topic – the information introduced by them would be accepted more positively.

Make large-scale PR campaigns through the media channels in the topic. Promote viral campaigns through social media. Besides, we would recommend focusing on PPC campaigns to find a lookalike audience. For example, target the users who visited eco-funds, channels or stores.


Eco-friendly customers are still customers, and they are attracted to discounts, promo codes, and campaigns. So never forget to build partnerships and send marketing emails to them.

But another good way to convince them to buy from you is charity campaigns. Cooperate with environment-focused organizations and send them a certain percent of your revenue. The fund will promote your brand, while the customers will appreciate your approach.


To convert a visitor into a customer, don’t forget about a call to action. In recommerce, you can do this with the help of:

  • Time-limited offers for discounts: this method is still proving itself. Send an email with a discount promo which is valid within a week.
  • Gifts: it would be cool, if the gifts you suggest to your customers will be connected with a sphere of their interests: sunglasses from recycled materials, pocket sun battery, a ticket to the environmental symposium, etc.
  • Coins: suggest bonus accounts for registered users and return them some amount from their orders. This will make your customers return back to you.

To conclude…

The recommerce trend is proof that society is changing to a more mindful way of life. That is why this tendency will not only help you generate revenue but also attract attention to global issues. But what is more important, it is fresh and new, so it’s your chance to be in fashion.

Written by
Olesia Holovko

Team Lead of Content for

Content marketing manager at Promodo with 7+ years of writing.

When creating valuable business content, I always seek fresh data, interesting facts, the expertise of professionals, and meaningful insights to bring relevant ideas to the audience. I believe that good content can enrich the experience of marketers, empower business owners to make data-driven decisions, and enhance companies in growth.

February 14, 2020
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