The concept of e-commerce, or as we know it, online shopping, started in the late 1970s with the invention of Videotex, a two-way message service that was used to send information to a place where multiple companies could have the opportunity to acquire it.
With inspiration from Videotex, Michael Aldrich unveiled the concept of “teleshopping” in 1979. Shopping was never the same. Today’s largest online retailers, such as Amazon and Ebay, made their debuts in 1995 and have grown at a steady pace over the past decade. The annual growth of the online retail market itself peaked last year with 23 percent growth overall, according to bigcommerce.com.
Convenience is a major perk of online shopping, and with the variety of products available to online shoppers, almost any item can be shipped to your door within a few days. Some of the most popular online purchases include consumer electronics, books and apparel. Many online retailers, such as Amazon, are now starting to sell gently used versions of some items online as well. Could this be considered online thrifting?
In today’s society, fashion changes at a fast pace, and trying to keep up with what’s trending can be costly. To combat these issues, consumers are turning to sites like Poshmark, Tradesy and Thredup to buy and sell their gently used clothing for a fraction of the retail price.
Since it’s launch in 2011, Poshmark prides itself on providing sellers the opportunity to list an item for sale in less than 60 seconds, and buyers have access to new and gently used items for up to 70 percent off the retail price, according to poshmark.com (https://poshmark.com/).
Poshmark makes its profit from charging sellers after every sale. When a seller sells an item for less than $15, Poshmark charges a fee of $2.95. Sellers are charged 20 percent for items sold for more than $15. Poshmark provides its sellers with a shipping label for each item sold.
Millennials certainly have a stronger connection to technology than previous generations, so it isn’t surprising that members of the demographic make up a substantial portion of online consumerism in today’s online markets.
Marketing student Nora Grafton thinks millennials’ attraction to online shopping stems from the personalized ads that appear on their social-media feeds.
“When I first noticed that the ads on my Instagram page were displaying products that I’ve actually looked at recently, I definitely thought it was a little creepy,” she said. “It did get my attention, and most of the time, I did check it out again.”
Upwards of 65 percent of millennials say they prefer online shopping versus a physical visit to a store, and the average time millennials spend browsing deals online each week is approximately 6 hours, according to a bigcommerce.com article (https://www.bigcommerce.com/).
What items are members of this demographic looking for online? The answer is clothing, and lots of it. A study conducted by Salehoo.com’s (https://www.salehoo.com/) market research lab found that 67 percent of the millennial-age demographic purchases clothing online.
Many millennials turn to social media for outfit inspiration. Poshmark decided to bring a social-media aspect to online shopping where users can feel connected to others while making purchases or overseeing sales.
The site resembles social-media platforms in the sense that users post pictures of items they intend to sell and display in their online closet. Similar to social media, users also have the opportunity to interact with others. They have the options to follow sellers, types of items or some of the 3,000 brands offered on the site, according to a savingfreak.com (https://www.savingfreak.com/) article.
Online fashion blogger Kaitlyn Mclain has been ordering clothing and accessories on Poshmark for over three years.
“I’ve found some really great deals on Poshmark, and I recently started selling some of my own clothing on the site,” Mclain said. “I actually reached out to a woman that I’ve bought a few pairs of shoes from to get some advice about how to get started.”
Grafton’s favorite features of the site are the invites to participate in events featuring some of the brands that she’s favorited.
“I’ll get notifications if someone is hosting a party that included items from some of my favorite brands,” Grafton said. “It just feels personal, and I really like that. It also makes it easy for me to get to know the sellers.”
Poshmark’s connections to social media just made shopping with friends much easier. Now you can shop with friends from anywhere at any time.