- Shopping apps like Poshmark have made it possible for almost anyone to start a resale business from home.
- Founder and CEO, Manish Chandra, said the app’s fundamental business model has enabled the company to operate through the coronavirus pandemic without extensive changes.
- He predicted that the future of retail will be more personalized and immersive, with resale at the forefront.
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Long before most Americans began working remotely during the pandemic, there was a whole crop of solopreneurs building six-figure businesses from home — which they started with little more than their phones and the clothes in their closets.
Popular shopping apps like Poshmark have made it possible for almost anyone to start a resale business. Poshmark founder and CEO, Manish Chandra, built the app to be just that — an accessible way for millions of people to sell, ship, and shop from their homes.
“Our peer-to-peer model and extensive suite of seller tools makes it easy for anyone to earn extra income,” he told Business Insider. A consumer-to-consumer model, if you will.
Chandra has over 20 years of experience building and scaling companies including Kaboodle, a social shopping business that was acquired by media giant Hearst Corporation in 2007.
Poshmark has over 60 million users in the US and just launched a stories feature on the app, similar to Instagram and Snapchat.
Chandra said a strong logistics and inventory network is what makes Poshmark’s business model more resilient to disruption than others in its space. The company’s fundamental advantage during this time is that it doesn’t rely on manufacturers and it already had a system in place to provide shipping for all users.
“Because of this foundation, Poshmark has been able to continue to operate without extensive changes,” he said.
Before coronavirus, the retail industry was already battling several disruptive forces — a quicker direct-to-consumer cycle, the death of shopping malls, reinventing brick-and-mortar, and a new era of marketing that advocated real over sexy. Now, as we grow accustomed to doing more from the comfort of our homes, it could benefit from the future of retail becoming more personal.
“Our innate architecture supports this new way of life and I believe the kind of personalized and immersive retail experience fostered on our platform will be the ‘new normal’ going forward,” Chandra said.
Poshmark users praise its tight-knit community of shoppers and sellers, which in many ways acts as its own social media platform. “The intergenerational movement that resale has ignited is fueling the acceleration of social commerce at scale, delivering on consumers’ need for connections and a newly awakened sense of community,” he said.
And resale could be at the forefront of this newly social retail industry, as Chandra said consumers are looking to platforms that prioritize financial and environmental sustainability. “If one thing is true, this pandemic has exacerbated people’s need and desire for genuine connection,” he said.