Archive Resale Uses a Brand-Centered Approach to Redefine Digital Resale
While sites that cater to consumers who want to bid adieu to their old clothing in exchange for a bit of cash have dominated the online resale space, Archive Resale has introduced a model that benefits both brands and sellers. Founded in 2020 by vintage-clothing enthusiast, Google alum and now Archive Resale Chief Executive Officer Emily Gittins and Ryan Rowe, the company’s chief technology officer who is a design, data and user-experience expert, the platform is quickly gaining traction to fill a void in the market.
“There didn’t seem to be a solution available for brands that was asset light and resource light and easy for them to take ownership of this market,” Gittins explained. “We started thinking about what would it look like to give brands back ownership of resale and, therefore, totally transform both the buyer and the seller experience to encourage even more people to go secondhand instead of new.”
Archive Resale’s data-driven model works from within a digital space owned by the brand, such as its client M.M. LaFleur’s Second Act, which relies on the technology provider’s ability to wield its tools to engage customers by advising them regarding reselling. With a perfectly timed launch, Archive Resale notes that by 2025 almost half of spending on apparel in the United States will shift online, while the secondhand market is predicted to double to $77 billion in five years, according to a new report by ThreadUp.
“We founded Archive as an extraordinarily low-lift and low-investment way for brands to offer a high-quality, branded secondhand shopping and selling experience to their customers,” Rowe said. “Our design, development and customer-service team both creates and operates a beautiful marketplace site that mirrors the brand’s aesthetic with an elegant UX—just look at M.M. LaFleur’s Second Act, for an example—[which] results in a very high-trust environment for buyers and sellers. In the coming years, launching programs like Second Act will be a critical path for brands to keep customers engaged and build vibrant communities.”
Gittins and Rowe examined the reasons certain consumers don’t enter resale through existing reseller sites. By conducting interviews, the duo found that potential sellers wanted a seamless experience that would also yield a large portion of the items’ original prices. Through the peer-to-peer marketplace afforded by Archive Resale, sellers list items and ship them to buyers. Sellers choose either credit to shop the brand again or cash.
“We realized that by having buyers, sellers and brands all in one closed ecosystem we could offer a highly differentiated seller experience. We could pile in a lot of data from the brand, we could be much more targeted, and we could do a pricing algorithm for sellers to make it much easier to get a listing up and sell something,” Gittins said. “By having brands involved, it’s a huge opportunity for them for a new revenue stream, it’s a way to acquire new customers, and it’s a loyalty program.”
Using brand data, Archive Resale is able to identify customers who bought certain items, reach out to them and encourage their transition from consumer to seller. The interest in cultivating this type of resale environment that aligns with existing branding is alluring for companies across industries. As M.M. LaFleur Vice President of Brand and Creative Callie Kant explained, partnering with Archive Resale provided a resale solution that the brand needed.
“We had seen interest in a resale platform from customers for a long time, but we didn’t have the internal resources to operationalize creating one ourselves,” said Kant. “Archive approached us due to our strong presence in the resale market, and they felt like a great fit for us as we could work with them to create a fully customized interface that was accessible directly from our website.”
The process to implement an Archive Resale–powered system afforded ease to M.M. LaFleur. Kant notes that the platform was able to generate an environment in which all details, large and small, were easily incorporated within its resale space.
“Because Archive integrates directly with our product catalog, listing products on Second Act is especially easy for customers; they’re able to include all the product details that live in our original product-description pages, like images, fabric information, length and care instructions,” Kant said. “The site also recommends a price for each item, which further reduces any customer pain points. We’ve always put a lot of thought into creating long-lasting, quality garments with classic style, so resale is a natural fit for us.”
Interested in secondhand clothing since high school, Gittins is also committed to the health of the planet. In addition to an MBA, Gittins also earned a master’s degree in environmental science. Recently, Archive Resale hired Alex Kremer, who launched and managed Patagonia’s Worn Wear resale program, to lead strategy and operations.
“We really want people to be thinking about reselling at the point when they purchase something,” Gittins explained. “With this option in mind, maybe I am willing now to buy something that is of a more-premium quality that lasts longer and know in six months I can resell it and set up alerts with the brand. I get those notifications that when I am ready with this item it’s just one click.”
Images courtesy of Archive Resale.