Call centre trends for 2021
Management of Fashion and Retail Based On Reuse


As the fashion world moves toward a more sustainable model and post-pandemic spending preferences force brands to be more accountable, resale is a fashion e-commerce trend experiencing a rebirth. Up from $7 billion in 2019 to an estimated $36 billion by 2024 with a forecasted 39% annual growth rate, the online and offline resale industry has a new lease of life in its quest to remain an affordable, sustainable way to keep up with fashion. Second-hand fashion e-commerce stores had also estimated to grow 69% between 2019 and 2021 – long before shoppers started actively seeking more affordable options from home whilst quarantining.

Re-commerce or the online sale of used clothing and other goods is booming, with various companies meeting consumer demand for more affordable and sustainable alternatives to buying new. Fashion retailers and scholars have introduced the reuse of fashion as a strategy to render fashion retail sustainable.

The main argument for reuse is that it decreases the production of new garments, reducing the negative environmental impact. In practice, reuse occurs when we use a garment again. In research, reuse typically refers to processes to prepare garments for reuse as they are or to transform garments into goods such as insulation, furniture, and art.

What is Re-commerce?

Online and retail businesses liquidating excess inventory at a discount using alternative distribution channels and Consumer-to-consumer reselling of products or Re-commerce isn't a new concept. Pioneers in the market have been around for over a decade. What is new is the proliferation of robust digital marketplaces and coordinating inventory distribution at scale.

Re-commerce is nothing new. Markets, car-boot sales and second-hand shops have been reselling products for years. What has changed is the utilization of the internet to centralize, coordinate and provide global access to this market.

The launch of eBay in the mid-1990s is potentially the birth of what we today refer to as 'Re-Commerce' and a pivotal moment in the sustainability movement. The ability to resell unwanted products through online auctions turbocharged the market, creating an extended lifespan for products otherwise destined for landfills.

Since the nineties, Re-commerce has expanded and evolved, with both consumers and businesses competing for a piece of this USD 24 billion markets.

C2C Re-commerce

This consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market was the birthplace of Re-commerce. Transactions previously isolated to face-to-face meetings became digitalized through platforms like eBay. Bloomberg reported an estimated USD 23 billion of merchandise was sold globally by eBay in the 3rd quarter of FY18/19 alone.

When you then consider other platforms like Gumtree, plus the exponential rise in peer-to-peer (P2P) selling via social media, the value of the product being resold and reused rather than thrown away is estimated to be worth AUD 34 billion in Australia alone.

Outside of these mainstream platforms, C2C R-Ecommerce within niche industries has further fuelled the movement. Sneakers are a great example, with a market once isolated to monthly swap meets, now booming online through apps like Stock X, Goat and Grailed.

B2C Re-commerce

The most recent and potentially most exciting is B2C Re-Commerce, with brands beginning to realize they can be directly involved in reusing their products. If they initially make the products to last, there is no reason why brands cannot extend the lifespan of said products, rather than solely focusing on selling new items.

Repairing and refurbishing used products for resale, whether those products are faulty or traded-in, the product's lifespan can be extended. Sustainability innovators within fashion, have always offered repairs for customers to extend the life for that individual customer. The change is where brands are now buying back the used product, most commonly using store credit, for refurbishing and resale to another customer.

Main sub-trends of Re-commerce

Looking to the increasingly popular and profitable future, across the next 12 months, a pioneer company highlights the three main subtrends of re-commerce fashion being:

  1. Sustainability: As brands transparent with their carbon footprint and ethics continue to see rising sales numbers.

  2. Quality: As luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci become offerings for investable and high-quality pieces.

  3. Nostalgia: As Generation X brands such as Doc Martens and Nike begin to appeal to thrift-store hunters by integrating throwback style fashion into their new releases.

Success in Re-commerce

Just because the items available for re-commerce sales are used doesn't mean that quality isn't essential. Consumers expect the things they buy in this way to be as close to new as possible and from brands they recognize, know and trust.

E-commerce companies need to understand that consumers buying used items still expect trendy, quality products.

Another pioneer person in this field points out an opportunity to bring exotic/expensive brands clothes dresses out from the back of reselling shops and into the mainstream. He is an expert who ensures the authenticity of its luxury items, and it then curates those items so that shoppers can purchase them in a trusted, high-end environment.

How Big Re-Commerce Is Today And How Is It Projected To Grow?

According to a leading company, 2020 Fashion Resale Market Analysis, we expect C2C Re-commerce and B2B Re-commerce to hit $64 billion by 2024, vs $28B a few years ago. Up from $7 billion in 2019 to an estimated $36 billion by 2024 with a forecasted 39% annual growth rate, the online and offline resale industry has a new lease of life in its quest to remain an affordable, sustainable way to keep up with fashion.

4 Factors That Drive Re-commerce Growth

  1. Millennials' adoption of the sharing economy
  2. Younger consumers who are now entering prime earning potentials have proven to favour the concept of sharing over owning. Immensely successful tech companies are only a few that comes to mind to illustrate how the sharing economy is here to stay.

  3. Consumer's desire to access used goods at a discount
  4. Bargain shoppers can easily shop overstock, out of season, or gently used products from trusted online stores without leaving their houses.

  5. Powerful digital marketplaces
  6. The proliferation of reliable, easy-to-use digital marketplaces that make it easy for consumers to market and sell used goods are plentiful today. They range from offering a large variety of content (eBay and Craigslist) to curated content targeted to excellent segments (RentTheRunway, TheRealReal)

  7. The environmental consciousness of consumers and brands alike
  8. Being able to resale used goods instead of throwing them away creates an environment where consumers can easily find an ethical outlet for the product and receive fair compensation.

3 Main Benefits of Re-commerce for Retail Brands

Liquidating excess inventory via alternative distribution channels is trusted mechanism brands use to recover a portion of the loss in sales, expand into different segments of consumers while preventing channel conflict. The rise of Re-commerce is taking on additional complexity that has proven to benefit retailers and brands alike dramatically.

  1. Retain Current Customers, and Build Loyalty
  2. By providing an easy-to-use mechanism and fair market prices for used goods, retailers allow consumers to engage with the brand. Current consumers are encouraged to bring back used goods in exchange for store credit, which fuels Loyalty and additional purchases.

  3. Acquire New Customers and Fuel Growth
  4. Brands and retailers that manage returned goods are now going further by accepting goods that need to be repaired or reconditioned. This new offer created an additional profitable revenue stream when we resell the repaired goods to different customers.

  5. Re-commerce can become an intricate part of a Sustainability Program
  6. By extending the life of a good, that product can be resold or reused as-is, or by repairing it before reselling it, brands are helping reduce the amount of waste associated with their products.

The future of Re-commerce

Re-commerce is evolving from the early days of thrift stores. These days, it's a thriving global business. As it becomes familiar, re commerce likely will evolve to become an integral part of the fashion world.

3 Re-commerce 2021 Trends that will further solidify and positively impact retailers and brands:

  1. Need to Optimize Reverse Logistics
  2. Retailers are working hard to master the complexities of reverse logistics to coordinate returned goods. The recent rise of online sales driven, in part, by the global covid-19 confinement and the necessity to implement contactless fewer returns have put an additional strain on thinly stretched retailers.

  3. From Consumer Goods to Capital Assets
  4. Retailers and manufacturers are increasingly taking advantage of third-party managed Re-commerce platforms to coordinate transportation and resale of fully depreciated goods. It could be refrigeration equipment removed during a commercial kitchen or grocery store remodel. It could be fixtures, HVAC equipment, basically anything that we can resell. While some retailers find it hard to develop alternative supply chains to collect cost-effectively and resale such assets, they rely on partners whose expertise lies in reverse logistics, last-mile delivery, and B2B liquidation to eliminate the need for storage, retain the high value of the goods resold, and access liquidities.

  5. Ecological Re-commerce
  6. Turning a Re-commerce program that was only aimed a liquidating excess inventory into a B2C retail solution becomes a powerful lever to transition to a circular business model. This is called "ecological Re-commerce." It is a business model specifically aimed at reducing the product's environmental footprint a company makes or sells.

    Ecological Re-commerce focuses on collecting used items for the sole purpose of repairing or recycling and reselling the reconditioned products. Another aspect of ecological Re-commerce is the reduction in the use of post-consumer single-use packaging. Retailers and brands alike have made public commitments to reduce single-use packaging and to eliminating plastic pollution. These brands all work together to create a systematic and effective material collection program to divert used goods from the landfill.

COVID-19 pandemic and the trend for circular economy drive second-hand E-Commerce in 2021

The second-hand sales industry has been on the rise for several years already, as the circular economy and waste reduction trend appeared. In 2021, the market is attracting even closer attention from both consumers and market players.

Its e-commerce component, furthermore, is doing even better, as due to the COVID-19, there has been a general trend on shifting shopping online: in a recent survey of eBay sellers, more than seven in ten respondents stated that the practice of selling and buying pre-owned goods became more common in the recent years.

Moreover, according to several surveys conducted in 2020 and cited in this market report, consumers intend to increase their spending on second-hand items in the near future. For example, in the United States, the market value of secondhand apparel, especially online, is forecasted to grow much faster than the overall retail clothing market.

In China, after a boom in 2016, second-hand E-Commerce continues to grow exceptionally fast, with two prominent people like Xianyu and Zhuanzhuan leading the market. On the other side of the world, new, much stricter regulations in France against textile waste should have significant implications for the latest clothing market in the country and the whole European Union later.

Consumer Attitudes

In part, younger consumers are more willing than older ones to buy used luxury watches online, assuming they are what they are supposed to be.

The desire of younger consumers for sustainable products is helping to build re-commerce sales, according to observers. That desire is behind the recent launch of The North Face's renewed online shop, where consumers can buy refurbished clothes, shoes and outdoor gear.

Space also includes such players as Poshmark, the Real Real (headed toward an IPO), Chairish (vintage furnishings) and 1stdibs (high-end goods).

New Avenues

As more consumers engage in second-hand online purchases, the sale of used goods online is growing up. Companies have spent the last decade gathering information on what customers like, what sells fast online and what consumers respond strongly to as they resell clothes in one of the larger and better-known online consignment hubs. The company is using what it learned from all that data to sell its line of clothing — with those items and their pricing designed with the idea that they might eventually hit the resale market.


The re-commerce trend is the proof that society is changing to a more mindful way of life. That is why this tendency will help you generate revenue and attract attention to global issues. But what is more important, it is fresh and new, so it's your chance to be in fashion.

We at CogentHub deploy future ready technology to keep you ahead of the curve. CogentHub can help your Re-Commerce business by curating personalized solutions and by deploying immaculately planned operations without any compromise.