Poshmark Inc., a US-based social marketplace for new and secondhand consumer items, on Wednesday forayed into the Indian market amid increasing awareness about sustainable fashion and traction for thrift shopping, particularly among millennials and Gen Z consumers.
“I am thrilled to launch Poshmark in India, one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world and a country with a vibrant culture of thrifting and appreciation for sustainability,” Manish Chandra, Founder and CEO of Poshmark said at a virtual event to announce the company’s foray into India.
Founded in 2011, the marketplace allows consumers to list items for sale in three simple steps. Poshmark has a wide array of shopping categories including men, women and kids’ fashion, jewellery and accessories, makeup, dresses, shoes, home essentials and pet needs.
Poshmark Inc currently has over 80 million community members across the US, Canada, and Australia and 200 million items for sale. India is the fourth market in its international expansion and the first one in Asia.
“The younger generation across the world is very much focussed on shopping sustainably. Shopping from eachother’s closet is one of the best ways to promote planet health. That is why we are attracted to India, which is also one of the largest e-commerce markets,” Chandra told BusinessLine.
The concept of thrift shopping, where an array of latest and vintage fashion collections can be purchased at affordable prices, is already gaining traction among Indian consumers, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are awash with online thrift stores likePosh Past, Thrift Fiction, Nush Thrifts etc.
“If you see the number of store fronts that are coming up on Instagram, it shows that the ecosystem is ready for peer-to-peer buying and selling. So, the thrifting culture is visible, but it is in unstructured form, with consumers indulging in freelance shopping through social media,” said Anuradha Balasubramanian, Director, International Expansion – Poshmark India.
“So, in order to empower consumers to buy and sell at ease, we brought the same technology to India but localised the category offerings to meet consumer needs,” she added.
Poshmark’s India foray comes at a time when social commerce (a combination of e-commerce and social media), where consumers are able to sell their products directly on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram is growing at a faster rate.
Although the market size of social commerce is currently small, primarily driven by social reselling players like GlowRoad, Shop 101, Meesho and Bulbul, social commerce is expected to grow dramatically over the next few years.
According to a report ‘The Future of Commerce in India – the rise of social commerce’ by Bain & Company in partnership with Sequoia India, India’s social commerce sector currently has a $1.5-$2 billion Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) market. This has potential to grow to $16-20 billion in five years, increasing to $60-70 billion in revenue by 2030.
“We are poised at a very critical juncture, almost like a tipping point. We bring together technology as well as an organised platform on Poshmark. We are going to be leading a revolution in India from here,” Balasubramanian said.