13/03/20244 min

Why and how do you integrate secondhand into your catalog?

Faced with growing demand for more responsible and environmentally friendly consumption, the secondhand market has emerged as a major opportunity for merchants. With 67% of secondhand purchases made online in France in 2021, integrating these products into your catalog is a relevant strategy to meet the new expectations of consumers while affirming your ecological commitment. This article guides you through the benefits and steps to tap into this booming industry.

What are the reasons to get into secondhand products?

In France, the secondhand market was worth more than 7 billion euros in 2021 according to the research firm Enov. This growing market continues to grow every year, and ecommerce sites account for more than half of purchases in this category. Are you in the field of cultural products such as books, clothing, or furniture and interior design? Then you are in luck since these products rank highly among the most acclaimed by the French in the secondhand market.

That being said, the IT, smartphone, and DIY markets are likely to develop more and more in the coming years. Provided, however, that ecommerce players make the effort to highlight them. The BackMarket company in France is a clear example. This ecommerce site of refurbished products will gain unicorn status in 2022 (a company valued at more than one billion euros).

Beyond economic considerations, highlighting secondhand products can only be good for your brand image. In France and around the world, consumers are paying more and more attention to the ecological impact of the products they consume. Economic reasons are still at the forefront of the craze for the secondhand market, but are closely followed by ecological considerations.

How do you integrate secondhand products into your ecommerce?

Create a brand dedicated to secondhand products

Advantages: a dedicated brand makes it possible to specifically target consumers interested in buying secondhand products and thus strengthens your positioning in this market. This is an ideal way to achieve a strong brand identity, as Patagonia did with Worn Wear. This is an initiative that encourages customers to repair, sell, and buy used Patagonia clothing.

Cons: Launching a new brand requires a significant initial investment in marketing and logistics. Also pay attention to the risk of diluting your main brand if the relationship between the two is not explicit.

Develop a specific site for secondhand products

Advantages: a dedicated site can make navigation easier and improve the shopping experience for those who are exclusively looking for secondhand items, like Back Market for refurbished electronic products. Also, there's the option of setting up specific return processes and policies adapted to secondhand products.

Cons: As with the creation of a dedicated brand, a specific site requires additional resources to develop and maintain it. Generating traffic to the new site also requires the implementation of a solid marketing strategy.

Create a special category on the menu of your ecommerce site

Advantages: integrating a secondhand category into your existing ecommerce site allows it to benefit from the site's visibility and traffic. Your customers may be more inclined to explore and buy secondhand products if they come across them during their usual browsing.

Cons: be careful to distinguish new products from used products in order to avoid confusion among your customers. Adjustments in the inventory management system will also be essential to effectively manage both types of products.

Offer secondhand alternatives at checkout

Advantages: this approach makes consumers aware of sustainability by offering them an ecological and economical option just before the purchase. For example, in some categories, Decathlon offers verified secondhand products next to new ones and thus allows its customers to consciously choose cheaper and more sustainable items.

Cons: Offering secondhand alternatives requires an accurate and constantly updated inventory to ensure that the proposed options are available. An effective management system must also be put in place to ensure that the quality and condition of secondhand items are ensured.

Toward a sustainable future: the secondhand market

Integrating secondhand products into an ecommerce catalog offers unique opportunities to meet the growing demand for sustainable and economical purchasing options. However, like any marketing strategy, the secondhand market has its own challenges and requires careful reflection to ensure that it aligns with your brand and your growth goals.

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