Marketplace

How Poshmark became a leading social commerce marketplace for new and secondhand fashion

Released on 
Jul 5, 2022
 • 
Written by
Anna Ambroszkiewicz

Poshmark is a global online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell previously owned or new clothing and accessories. This social commerce platform grew to become a multi-billion dollar business, reaching the heights of eBay and Etsy at a time when social networking apps were just becoming popular.

Poshmark marketplace case study

How Poshmark marketplace started and how it works

Poshmark was launched in 2011 by Manish Chandra as a social commerce C2C marketplace platform and mobile app for purchasing and selling clothes. In 2021 the company announced its Brand Closet program, opening its social marketplace to brands and retailers of all sizes. This new initiative enabled large-scale brands to access Poshmark’s social commerce platform and highly engaged community.

Nowadays, both consumers and brands alike use the site to buy, share, and sell apparel and accessories, becoming part of a community of 7 million sellers and 80 million total members. Unlike eBay or Amazon, Poshmark offers social network features where people may follow, like, share, and comment on clothes listings. These social selling features are uniquely designed to reach Poshmark’s community, who are mainly Millennial or Gen Z, hyper-engaged, and passionate about interacting with their favorite brands. 

This also aligns with the current sustainability trends and the fact that the second hand-sector is getting too large for brands and retailers to ignore. According to ThredUp’s latest survey, used apparel sales are projected to reach $77 billion in five years.

What is Poshmark's marketplace business model

Poshmark is a multi-vendor marketplace with a commission-based business model. This means it charges a commission on each sale made through the platform. Poshmark takes a flat commission of $2.95 for all sales under $15. For sales of $15 or more, sellers keep 80% of the sale, with Poshmark taking 20% commission. This pricing structure is designed to encourage users to sell higher-priced items.

The User Experience and features of Poshmark's multi-brand eCommerce website

Poshmark has a sleek and modern user interface that is easy to navigate. One of the most useful features for buyers is the ability to follow their favorite brands and sellers and be notified when new items are listed. This helps to create a sense of loyalty among customers.

Homepage

On Poshmark, the homepage is a starting point for both sellers and buyers. It is a walkthrough of what one can expect on this social commerce platform.

Brand Spotlight

Poshmark brand spotlight

Discover the community

Poshmark discover the community

How it works sections for both sellers and buyers explain in a few easy steps how to use Poshmark marketplace.

Poshmark how it works
Poshmark how it works

Footer

There is no navigation menu on the top of the homepage. However, users can find all the categories listed in the website's footer. This is unusual, however, it makes sense as the homepage is designed to walk everyone through what Poshmark actually is, irrespective if they are there to buy or sell.

Poshmark footer

Website Navigation

Once a user has clicked through to other pages, the top menu appears and helps further navigate the website, either by product categories or by brands.

Poshmark website naigation

Brand Page

This page on Poshmark lists all the items of the brand, both new and used, and offered by different sellers (both individual people and retailers). Extensive filters enable users to browse by product category, price, color, condition (new or used), and shipping cost. Users can also follow the brands that they like.

Poshmark brand page
Poshmark brand page

Category Page

Poshmark marketplace offers new and secondhand styles for women, men, kids, pets, homes, and more. Users can browse an extensive number of product categories (i.e., dresses) and subcategories (i.e., mini, midi, maxi, strapless, backless, prom, wedding, etc.).

Poshmark category page

Seller's Listing Page

Each seller has their own listing page (called Closet!) that resembles an Instagram account. There is a profile picture, an about section, a Follow button, number of shares and followers. Sellers can offer discounts when customers buy more than one item from their Closet (see top left-hand corner).

Poshmark seller's listing page

There are also customer reviews that are called Love Notes here.

Poshmark seller listing page

Product Page

The product page also has several social features such as Like, Comment, Share, as well as Like, and Save for Later (Wishlist). Users can also Add the product to Bundle and take advantage of discounts offered by sellers for purchasing more than one item from their Closet.

Poshmark product page
Poshmark product page
Poshmark product page

Cart

The cart displays the order summary and offers a shortcut to checkout for users who want to pay with PayPal or GooglePay/ApplePay (depending on the device).

Poshmark cart

Social Commerce Features

  • Posh Stories - short videos and photos that disappear in 48 hours published by sellers and featuring their products
  • Posh Parties - live shopping events where users meet up in the Poshmark app to shop, share, and sell clothing and accessories
  • Drops Soon - when a listing is marked as Drops Soon, it will not be available for purchase until the designated time. It can still be viewed, liked, commented on, and shared. Once the drop time arrives, it will automatically be shared and become available for sale.

Vendor Features

  • Closet Insights - a dashboard that provides sellers with real-time inventory and sales data. 
  • My Shoppers - a tool that allows sellers to know who their prospective and past buyers are, as well as take action to quickly start conversations and make offers to multiple shoppers at once. This list is comprised of:
  • Likers: Shoppers who have liked an available listing.
  • Bundlers: Shoppers who have at least one item in their bundle.
  • Past Buyers: Buyers who have purchased at least one item from your closet.
  • Enterprise-grade inventory management tools to support high-volume selling; integrated shipping; third-party logistics integration support, and dedicated customer success teams.
  • “Official Closet” placement on Brand Page; targeted push and email campaigns to drive repeat engagement.

How to create a successful marketplace eCommerce business like Poshmark?

Poshmark eCommerce solution is custom-made in-house and sustained with a total funding amount of $153M.

If you’re thinking about replicating in-house what Poshmark has built, stop dreaming. It’s not going to happen.

Instead, consider using a turn-key and proven solution such as Vendo to launch your own multi-brand eCommerce business at a fraction of the cost of custom development or enterprise SaaS and within days instead of months. No developers are needed.

Vendo marketplace

Once live, Vendo automates everything from vendor onboarding (eg. from Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, using API or CSV files), integrating with 3rd party services (eg. Stripe, Algolia, Shippo, TaxJar), accepting buyer payments in over 135 currencies, pushing orders for fulfillment to your sellers’ stores, to seller payouts in 50 countries.

Vendo works well with a number of separate storefronts or sales channels. Either with multiple warehouses and your own fulfillment or with absolutely no inventory of your own. One platform to manage all your products, customers, orders under one roof.

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About Author

Anna Ambroszkiewicz

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