Poshmark Designs a Personalized, Social Approach to Merchandising

The mobile fashion marketplace builds an active community of more than 1 million members and drives high engagement levels via its social merchandising engine.

Mining user data to deliver personalized offerings has become the cornerstone of many business strategies. Fashion site Poshmark is one such company that is betting on insights from social data to attract users selling or shopping for secondhand clothing.

Based in Menlo Park, Calif., the 3-year-old company has raised approximately $15.5 million and angel investors include actor Ashton Kutcher and stylist Rachel Zoe. 1to1 Media caught up with CEO Manish Chandra to discuss the company's personalization strategy and its social merchandising engine.

1to1 Media: Who is the average Poshmark user?

Manish Chandra: Poshmark is for any woman across America who loves to shop. Whether she has a closet filled with unworn or gently worn items she wants to sell or is looking for great deals on women's fashion.

How has Poshmark's customer experience evolved since the company was founded?

MC: From the beginning, we wanted to create a marketplace that was fun and easy for women to use. Women can open the app and list something from their closets in less than 60 seconds and then shop from hundreds of thousands of women's closets right from their phones. We take care of everything on the back end, from managing transactions and payments to providing customer service. Earlier this year, we partnered with the U.S. Postal Services to create PoshPost, the first-ever flat rate fashion shipping label, to make the shipping process even easier.

How do you personalize each user's experience?

MC: We recently released a new feature, PoshMatch, to our marketplaceto create what we like to call "people-powered shopping." PoshMatch is a social merchandising engine that serves up fashion items suited to each woman's unique personal style based on her in-app activity, such as shares, likes, brands she follows, and closets she likes.

For example, if you tend to share, like, or comment on Boho-style pieces, PoshMatch will learn your individual style and customize your home feed with items and brands you'll love. This creates the ultimate personalized shopping experience and also helps women discover the best fashion from the more than 6 million unique items and more than 5,000 different brands on Poshmark. Now women can shop and sell in the marketplace as well as help style other women in the platform by sharing the latest trends, brands, and styles they like with their followers.

How do you drive customer loyalty?

MC: On Poshmark, customer loyalty is driven primarily by our vibrant, active community of women on the marketplace. These women come together every day to buy and sell clothes from each other, spending 20 to 25 minutes in the app daily and opening it seven to 10 times each day.

Women using Poshmark are constantly sharing, commenting on and liking items across the marketplace more than 1 million times a day. To date, Poshmark has seen more than1 billion social interactions happen across 400,000 closets in the platform.

How many users does Poshmark have and what's the employee headcount?

MC: Poshmark has millions of members and more than 400,000 women's closets open for sale. We currently have 50 employees working at Poshmark.