According to social commerce platform Poshmark's 2020 social commerce report, 58% of consumers said they were comfortable with buying goods via social media rather than a company's website, while 75% said they would buy something directly from a person online.
The report also found that 57% of consumers discover new brands via word of mouth, 41% of them through influencers and 33% through social media marketing.
The survey of roughly 8,500 consumers was heavily weighted toward Poshmark users, which made up about 6,500 of the respondents. It also included internal data from the company's 60 million users. The company, which also added statistics on its users' purchase patterns and sales in the report, points to Poshmark's growth as a reflection of the movement toward social commerce and resale.
Though the report focuses on Poshmark users, it provides more context behind the growth of the overall resale market. A 2019 report from ThredUp estimated that the resale market will reach $51 billion in five years, and Poshmark's report further discusses the growth of the secondhand and resale market in the consumer conscience.
According to the survey, 38% of Poshmark users' closets are secondhand clothing, versus 14% of non-Poshmark users surveyed. Non-Poshmark users bought more of their apparel from mass merchants like Target and Walmart, or department stores, than Poshmark users. It's also a more popular trend with younger consumers, according to the study. Gen Z closets are made up of 16.5% secondhand items, the most of any generation measured, followed by Gen X (14%), millennials (12.5%) and baby boomers (9.5%). The percentage of items bought from department stores and mass merchants was higher for older generations.
Retailers that have been watching the resale market's growth have responded in different ways. While some retailers like Macy's and Gap have chosen to partner with resale platform ThredUp, others like Nordstrom and Patagonia have opted to create their own spaces for used goods. Poshmark itself has expanded its collection of secondhand sales in recent months, moving into home goods in June of last year.
Poshmark also may be onto something regarding the rise of social commerce. PayPal's analysis of Canadian consumers found that 40% of consumers anticipated shopping on social media and mobile apps during the 2019 holiday season. Poshmark's report found that 57% of Gen Z discover new brands via influencers on social platforms, and 34% of Gen Z consumers get their style inspiration from social media influencers.
"Looking ahead to 2020, consumers are emerging with an inherent desire for connection, redefining what it means to buy and sell, making social shopping synonymous with retail itself," Manish Chandra, Poshmark's founder and CEO, said in a statement.