Recommerce-The future of sustainable retail|Tagalys

Is Recommerce the future of a sustainable retail?

May 25, 2023


While the term "recommerce" may be a recent addition to our vocabulary, the idea of reusing or purchasing second-hand items has been in existence since medieval times. However, with the growing focus on sustainability especially among Gen Z, the concept of recommerce has taken on new importance. Consequently, an increasing number of individuals are embracing recommerce as a means to endorse sustainable fashion and mitigate their ecological footprint.

In this article, we are going to briefly discuss the new buzzword “Recommerce”.  Here we go!

What is Recommerce?

Also known as reverse commerce, recommerce is basically an organized form of process that involves buying and selling pre-owned products through online platforms. The recommerce market is experiencing significant growth for valid reasons. Among the various product categories traded on recommerce platforms, clothing, fashion, and apparel hold a prominent position. The fashion industry has always been criticized for its environmental impact in terms of water consumption, carbon emission, and landfilling. Recommerce offers a sustainable solution by allowing individuals to resell their used clothing, giving these items a second life and diverting them from the waste stream. From the buyer's perspective, recommerce platforms offer an extensive selection of pre-owned clothing alternatives at more affordable prices in comparison to purchasing brand-new items.  The appeal of recommerce extends beyond just the cost factor, as individuals, particularly the younger generations, are increasingly conscious of their buying decisions and are actively making sustainable shopping choices. According to a recent report by ThredUp, the global apparel resale market is expected to grow in the coming years and it is not a passing trend.

A bar graph showing the growth of global secondhand market

In the following section let us see the factors that are driving this market and the challenges that can possibly restrict the growth.

Factors driving Recommerce

According to the recent report by Thredup, some of the top reasons that retailers want to get into resale are- Acquiring more customers, driving revenue, and becoming more sustainable. In the following section, let us see the factors that are driving the recommerce market.

Increasing adoption among younger generations

Around 83% of Gen Z have shopped or are open to shopping secondhand apparel in the US. The adoption of recommerce among the younger generation has witnessed a significant surge in recent years. Millennials and Gen Zs, known for being eco-consciousness and emphasis on sustainability, are increasingly gravitating towards recommerce as a reflection of their values via their shopping habits. 

The appeal towards thrift stores isn’t only for its affordability but also for the unique items it offers. Younger consumers have a significant emphasis on individuality and self-expression. Recommerce platforms provide a treasure trove of pre-owned fashion that allows them to create distinctive and personalized styles, and truly reflect their unique tastes and preferences.

Digital Transformation 

The rise of e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces has facilitated the growth of recommerce. Online platforms are convenient and accessible for buying and selling pre-owned goods, enabling a global reach and expanding the customer base. The convenience of online recommerce platforms, coupled with advanced search functionalities and personalized recommendations, caters to the tech-savvy nature of the younger generation. As a result, they are embracing recommerce as a fashionable, budget-friendly, and sustainable alternative to traditional retail, driving its increasing adoption and shaping the future of the fashion industry.

Rise of Circular Economy

A Circular economy is an economic model that involves the reuse and regeneration of materials or products in order to protect the environment and make maximum use of resources without extracting new resources. The rise of this model marks a transformative shift in the way we produce, consume, and dispose of goods. Unlike the traditional linear economy, which follows a "take-make-dispose" approach, the circular economy focuses on keeping products and materials in circulation for as long as possible. According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy is gaining momentum worldwide indicating a potential to generate economic benefits of up to $4.5 trillion by 2030.

As more individuals embrace the principles of the circular economy and opt to resell or donate their used items, the supply of pre-owned goods expands. This provides recommerce platforms with a wider range of inventory to offer to their customers, thereby boosting the growth of the market.

What Puts the Recommerce Market to the Test?

Authenticity & Trust

Overcoming the stigma associated with buying pre-owned products is a significant challenge. Some consumers may have concerns about product quality, hygiene, or warranty. Building trust through transparent communication, detailed product descriptions, return policies, and customer reviews is crucial to address these concerns and improve the perception of recommerce among potential buyers.

Inventory Management

Managing a large volume of diverse inventory can be complex in the recommerce market. Platforms must efficiently handle product listings, categorization, and stock availability. Effective inventory management systems and strategies are essential to streamline operations and maintain a positive customer experience.

Pricing Consistency

Determining fair and competitive prices for pre-owned items can be challenging. Factors such as item condition, brand, market/ product demand, and finding the right balance make it difficult to derive a standardized pricing model. Recommerce platforms need robust pricing algorithms and data analysis to ensure consistency, accuracy, and transparency in pricing across their platforms.

What we do?

We at Tagalys, help online retailers maximize their conversions through online visual merchandising at their stores. It gives merchants visual control of products displayed in Site Search & Collections/Category pages and Product Recommendations in eCommerce. If you're a retailer aiming to optimize your online store for resale products, we can help you enhance your product discovery and elevate the user experience. With Tagalys' innovative solutions, you can effectively showcase your resale inventory, ensuring that customers easily find the products they're looking for. With Tagalys by your side, you can unlock the full potential of your online store and capitalize on the growing demand for recommerce, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and maximizing your business success. To know more about our features and solutions, get in touch with us now.


To answer if recommerce is the future of sustainable retail- Recommerce definitely has the potential to play a significant role in the near future. As consumers become more conscious of the environmental impact, there is a growing demand for sustainable and ethical shopping practices. While recommerce alone may not be the sole future of sustainable retail, it is undoubtedly a crucial component that can contribute to a more environmentally conscious and socially responsible industry.

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