MF 311 : Takeaways from PoshFest2020
Today, I cover some big takeaways from PoshFest2020. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Takeaways from PoshFest2020
This year, PoshFest was virtual, as pretty much all conferences are. Friday was the kickoff with CEO and Founder, Manish Chandra. Below are some of the big takeaways I got from the kickoff.
A forward-thinking vision is often confusing to those in the present
Poshmark has been around since 2011. Manish shared that when he thought of the idea, he had pushback from friends and colleagues who questioned the utility of a platform that would allow people to sell items from their closet.
Today, Poshmark’s reuse, recycle, resell model along with its social sharing and social selling mantra have disrupted trends in traditional retail. As I’ve discussed on the Poshmark miniseries, taking my dad’s retail business online was a necessity in 2018 and 2019 to remain competitive. Today, it’s a matter of survival. Rethinking the retail model is going to be vital as we move out of this pandemic and consumer habits and tastes constantly evolve.
Embrace your “weird”
Manish also shared this philosophy in summing up what makes Poshmark unique. As I’ve shared on several episodes, Poshmark combines a selling platform with elements of social media. If you shop or sell on it, you’ll find many different ways people brand themselves and their store. The people on it are as diverse as the items.
Poshmark is evolving and adding new features. Below are several that were highlighted in the opening remarks.
Stories: As I’ve covered in recent episodes, this mirrors what you see on Facebook and Instagram. Sellers now have the ability to post videos as stories.
Photos: One of my favorite enhancements this year is the expansion to 16 photos from 8. Photos can be a great way to answer questions so now you have more room in your virtual palette.
Packing slips: Sellers now have the ability to print out packing slips to ship out with items they’ve sold.
Curation: Poshmark is using the data it collects to create a more targeted and curated experience for buyers. With this data, Poshmark is able to create algorithms that will better match new listings with buyers.
You can see rest in Manish’s opening remarks available on Poshmark’s YouTube channel.
As Poshmark is a virtual selling platform, it relies heavily on a visual buying experience. As such, many sellers use their social media accounts as an extension of their Poshmark store and branding.
Of all the social media platforms, Instagram arguably has the most natural synergy with Poshmark. Many top sellers have robust IG accounts that display their listings and allow their fans to learn more about them. This is where you see the lines blurring between social media and social selling. It’s also where Poshmark stands out from traditional selling platforms like Amazon, eBay, and even Shopify.
However, as I’ve shared on prior episodes, you do not have to have a huge social media following to generate sales. Many of the best social media features are built into the platform itself, including shares, likes, and even virtual parties, in which sellers and buyers congregate.
I was asked to speak on a panel on the customer experience. While I can’t share the video of the panel, I can share the highlights of my talk, many of which I’ve covered in the Poshmark miniseries. When it comes to generating sales and repeat buyers, it starts with the customer experience. Below are some of the principles that we use to generate sales and repeat sales.
Care: When a potential buyer comes into your virtual store and asks a question, that is the touchpoint for a first impression. Answer questions and give the time and care for each one, even if you’ve answered the same question multiple times.
Above and beyond: Buying online requires a high degree of trust, especially when all sales are final. Now that Poshmark has expanded listings to 16 photos, you can leverage these to answer questions visually.
No expectations: Applying principles one and two can be hard when it doesn’t lead to a sale, especially when you’ve invested time and energy into answering many questions from the same person. But that’s the point. You are setting a standard of service for all of your store visitors, whether they buy or not. Maintain this and you will eventually get sales.
All sales are “4 or 5-figure sales:” Our first sale was a pair of blue jeans. We’ve since gone on to sell expensive wedding gowns, designer coats, shoes, and more. We don’t put extra care or attention into the higher-priced sales. Rather, we treat every sale, big or small, as if it were the most important one.
Fast shipping: When you’re starting out on Poshmark, the easiest way to stand out is to ship all orders, big or small, the same or the next day. If possible, find a USPS location with an after-hours drop off so you can get those Sunday and holiday orders out right away. And get to know the people who work at your local post office. Be nice to them!
Check out PoshFest2020 highlights
Check out the Poshmark miniseries
For more on Poshmark, check out last year’s series.
The Poshmark mini-series roadmap
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