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The weekly dispatch: Recommerce is growing, holiday shoppers are gearing up

Illustration of a person standing at a desk gesturing to a large monitor that shows a jacket with the reuse icon.

It wasn’t all that long ago that trawling through secondhand stores wasn’t exactly a ‘cool’ activity. Yet the rise of e-commerce and the ease of peer-to-peer selling has turned ‘recommerce’ into a serious force in retail – and brands are taking note. Find out about the new era of resale and more in this week’s dispatch:

Surveys show that holiday shoppers are ready to spend

A person walking down the street with shopping bags.

‘Inflation’ is currently the word on everyone’s lips in the lead-up to the holiday season. But a recent survey shows that it might not be quite the damper that everyone expects.

The study 2022 Holiday Preview from Numerator, 59% of consumers say they’ll be spending more than $200 on gifts this holiday season, while 79% respondents will be spending a minimum of $100. In fact, 11% say there’s going to be no impact from inflation on their holiday spending whatsoever – a demographic that brands will be keenly targeting this holiday season.

But this isn’t to say that inflation isn’t factoring into consumer considerations; 89% of surveyed consumers say they expect inflation to have some impact on their 2022 holiday spending this year. 

This can be seen in shoppers’ overwhelming preference for earlier shopping and discounts. With more price hikes potentially on the way, consumers are understandably anxious about even more expensive holiday gifts. This is why 70% of shoppers are looking for more deals and sales this year versus last holiday season, according to research conducted by digital marketing platform LMK.

American Express launches easier cross-border payments

American Express cards.

Payment services provider American Express has introduced Global Pay, a self-service, cross-border B2B payment solution.

Open to eligible American Express Small Business Card Members in the U.S., the service allows businesses to send same-day payments from their bank accounts to suppliers in over 40 countries and multiple currencies.

Cross-border commerce has grown rapidly over the past few years as e-commerce businesses battle intense competition to secure customers. With customer acquisition costs rising to unsustainable levels for many direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, chasing international markets has become a viable strategy to achieve profitability. 

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing consumers and businesses to look further afield to secure products, cross-borders have much more commonplace. 38% of SMBs sent and received more cross-border payments during 2021 than 2020, while nearly 75% said that cross-borders payments were essential for survival during the pandemic.

According to a recent survey by American Express, 64% of small and mid-sized business owners in the U.S. said they expected their total spend with service providers outside of the U.S. to increase over the following six months.

Chewy opens their third automated fulfillment center

Boxes on a conveyor belt at the fulfillment center.

Pet food supplier Chewy is expanding its fulfillment network with the addition of a third automated fulfillment center in Reno, Nevada. 

It’s expected that around a third of Chewy’s outbound shipments will come from automated facilities by the end of 2023, part of wider efforts to shore up their supply chain against ongoing labor shortages and increase productivity.

Not surprisingly, Chewy is not the only retailer to be investing heavily in automation. Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Home Depot have also upped their spend on automation technologies, from self-service kiosks to robotics. 

As consumer expectations continue to grow for seamless and rapid home delivery, automated fulfillment holds the key to increasing speed while also optimizing for cost. According to the 2022 26th Annual 3PL study, the top technologies that 3PLs plan on investing in over the next three years are robotic systems in the areas of high-density storage, picking and palletizing, autonomous forklifts and wearable tech.

More brands are bringing recommerce in-house

A stack of multicolor denim jeans.

Recommerce technology platform Trove is now in use by over 700 stores in the United States, including Lululemon, Patagonia, Levi’s, and REI, as more apparel brands strive to meet consumer demand for sustainable practices.

Recommerce refers to the practice of reselling clothing online via either physical storefronts or online channels. The global resale apparel market is currently expected to reach grow to $218 billion in 2026. This is thanks to more eco-conscious attitudes and the development of accessible recommerce platforms such as Depop, Poshmark and The RealReal.

In recent years, growing numbers of apparel brands have gotten in on the action by adding their own resale platforms, partly due to concerns about fraudulent goods. This is allowing brands to pioneer a ‘closed loop’ of interactions with their customers that promotes loyalty and trust, in addition to bringing in a new revenue stream.

And with inflation now hitting consumers’ wallets hard, we can expect to see brands receiving more interest in their resale divisions as shoppers get more savvy in searching out discounts and deals.

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