January 28, 2023


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Retailers develop ‘Recommerce’ choices as demand for value environment friendly and sustainable methods to buy will increase


  • Seven in 10 companies now supply extra sustainable purchasing choices, giving rise to the ‘Recommerce Economic system’ of recycling, renting, reusing and reselling
  • A 3rd of shops agree that rising environmental consciousness and rising cost-of-living are driving Recommerce development
  • Two in 5 retailers have created a product rental mannequin and 1 / 4 need to set one up as reputation grows
  • Shoppers are additionally purchasing extra mindfully as greater than half of shops report a fall in returns, reversing the ‘serial returner’ pattern that gathered tempo throughout lockdown

New analysis* from Barclaycard Funds reveals retailers are introducing extra sustainable methods to purchase and promote services and products, amidst stress from customers to buy extra consciously and cut back their discretionary spending as residing prices improve. 

Barclaycard Funds, which processes £1 in each £3 spent on credit score and debit playing cards within the UK, discovered seven in 10 (71 per cent) of the companies surveyed now supply recycling, renting, reusing or reselling purchasing choices. Over a 3rd (36 per cent) have launched extra sustainable methods to buy within the final 12 months, and 89 per cent plan to develop their choices in response to rising demand for extra inexpensive and environmentally pleasant purchasing options.

A 3rd of shops (32 per cent) agree that the speedy enlargement of Recommerce has been pushed by the expansion in environmental consciousness and the impression of the rising value of residing on client spending behaviour. Near 4 in 10 (37 per cent) say they’ve launched extra sustainable methods to buy to supply clients with extra inexpensive choices, with 44 per cent doing so to scale back their very own impression on the surroundings.

The rise of lease and resell

As consumers look to lease objects that they might have up to now bought new, retailers are responding at tempo. Two in 5 (40 per cent) UK retailers now have a rental mannequin in place, of which 61 per cent launched within the final yr alone, whereas an extra 23 per cent are contemplating setting one up. Encouragingly, of those who have launched a rental mannequin within the final yr, 9 in 10 (90 per cent) have benefited from a rise in income. The bulk (89 per cent) have additionally seen their rental buyer base develop, at a mean improve of 31 per cent.

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In an effort to supply a substitute for conventional on-line reselling platforms, 39 per cent of shops now have their very own reselling possibility in place, enabling clients to purchase and promote second-hand objects. Responding to the rising demand from consumers, virtually 1 / 4 (23 per cent) of shops providing reselling choices have launched them up to now yr, whereas an extra 26 per cent are contemplating setting one up within the coming months.

When asking retailers what merchandise they’re at the moment renting and reselling, a mixture of jewelry, clothes and purses are the objects most available to clients:


Most typical merchandise out there to lease from retailers: Most typical merchandise in the stores pre-loved from retailers:
  1. Jewelry (27 per cent)
  1. Clothes (29 per cent)
     2.Designer garments (24 per cent)         2.Designer purses (28 per cent)
      3.Fits (24 per cent)        3.Jewelry (27 per cent)
      4.Designer purses (21 per cent)         4.Designer clothes (25 per cent)
    5.Marriage ceremony attire (18 per cent)        5.Electrical items (20 per cent)
    6 .Furnishings (18 per cent)        6.Fits (18 per cent)
   7.Electrical items (17 per cent)       7.Furnishings (17 per cent)
  8.Occasion provides (15 per cent)     8.Marriage ceremony attire (16 per cent)
   9.Instruments (14 per cent)      9.Instruments (12 per cent)
  10.Sports activities and Health tools (13 per cent) 10.Occasion provides (10 per cent)

Serial returners pattern begins to retreat

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In a transfer away from the ‘serial returner’ pattern that boomed throughout lockdown – the place consumers despatched again giant proportions of their purchases – 56 per cent of shops have reported a drop in return charges up to now yr, with the variety of objects returned down 14 per cent in comparison with 12 months in the past.

Over a 3rd of shops (34 per cent) attribute this shift to customers making extra conscious buying selections. Different causes cited embrace shopping for much less total owing to the rising value of residing (26 per cent), making extra environmentally pleasant decisions (23 per cent), and the rising use of reselling platforms for undesirable merchandise that aren’t returned to retailer (23 per cent).

Counting right down to a aware Christmas

Half of shops (48 per cent) anticipate Brits to be extra conscious about their spending this Christmas as the price of residing impacts client spending, and Recommerce continues to develop.

4 in 10 (38 per cent) retailers predict Christmas purchasing will begin earlier as Brits intention to unfold prices, whereas 42 per cent imagine consumers will go for inexpensive presents. An additional 23 per cent additionally anticipate extra items to be bought second-hand this yr.

In response, 26 per cent of shops are taking a look at methods to supply clients extra appropriate methods to buy – corresponding to by promoting second-hand product strains – whereas 15 per cent plan to introduce a ‘reward swap’ service enabling clients to trade undesirable presents from family members.

Linda Weston, Managing Director at Barclaycard Funds, mentioned: “The Recommerce economic system continues to develop as retailers make sustainable methods to buy out there to clients. Whether or not launching rental fashions to drive new streams of revenue, providing reselling providers in-store, or by rising second-hand or pre-loved product strains, our information reveals how providing options to purchasing new can improve a enterprise’ buyer base and income.

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“The flexibility to launch new sustainable purchasing choices at tempo, and beneath difficult circumstances, demonstrates how agile British retailers proceed to be. It’s the companies who diversify and adapt to the shifts in client calls for that shall be finest positioned to thrive, particularly because the cost-of-living impacts client spending and the world turns into extra environmentally aware. At Barclaycard Funds, we work carefully with retailers to supply tailor-made fee capabilities as they develop into new strains of income, making certain their clients have frictionless entry to different, cost-effective methods to buy.”

Harry Wallop, Retail Professional and Commentator, mentioned: “As belts get more and more tighter, it’s the companies who display that they’ve the purchasers’ finest pursuits at coronary heart that can go the gap. This implies providing viable options to purchasing new. Recycling, renting, reusing, and reselling choices give customers the prospect to pay money for what they want, whereas being kinder on the pocket – important as the price of residing continues to rise.

“These companies that flex and create new options to conventional purchasing strategies can in flip construct wider, extra numerous buyer bases whereas driving future loyalty.”

Retailers can discover out extra about how Barclaycard Funds can assist with their funds options at: https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/enterprise