Re-commerce, whereby goods are refreshed and resold, is the exciting new model within the retail sector right now but in the near future it might be an absolutely integral part of every brand and retailer’s business and a significant contributor to their survival.
This is the view of the environmentally progressive brand Patagonia that has incorporated repairing, reselling, upcycling and recycling into its business for many years. Incredibly it has 70 repair centres around the world that bring back to life 100,000 items each year.
More recently in 2017 the company launched its Worn Wear retail arm that enables customers to mail their used Patagonia products back to the company in exchange for gift cards. These returned goods are repaired and cleaned up before being resold via its online site.
Having such an arrangement will be of increasing value to retailers and brands as it ensures they control the experience of customers even when their goods are returning back onto the market. With so many third-party marketplaces handling used goods the experience for shoppers can be very mixed. By keeping the connection to their goods it also provides great transparency on the lifecycle of the products and their environmental footprint across this timeframe.
Such data points will no doubt play an ever more important role as clothing retailers and brand owners come under more pressure to improve their sustainability practices. This tracking of items will be helped dramatically through improved visibility of stock and the potential use of blockchain technology.
Digital identity platform Eon Group is currently building a protocol that effectively creates an in-built identification for products (akin to a combined digital birth certificate and passport) that helps brands manage the goods they sell – from initial sale to subsequent resales. If Patagonia is correct with its prediction of the vital need to keep control over the whole cycle of re-commerce then it will be technology that plays the crucial role in making this happen.
Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider
K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.