Last week, on a hot and steamy evening, we hosted our Selling on Social Apps networking talk at co-working space Work.Life Camden.
Despite the heat outside, it was lovely and cool at Work.Life, and we were joined by our usual eclectic mix of Business Club Members*, fashion entrepreneurs and industry professionals.
Our speakers were Mitch Maynard, Senior Community Development Manager of Depop and James Symonds, Founder & Creative Director of streetwear label Bankside. I had the pleasure of chairing the talk, where the focus of the conversation was on how brands can now use social apps, such as Depop, to test the market, build a brand and increase sales.
When I asked Mitch how to describe Depop to those that may not have been aware of it, he said ‘ if you think of what a mash up of Ebay & Instagram would be – that’s Depop’. Depop has grown exponentially since launching in 2011 and now has over 10 million users, generating sales of around £250 million last year.
The platform has disrupted the online marketplace model by building a global community of buyers & sellers via it’s shoppable mobile app. There’s not even a transactional website! The sellers are a combination of individuals selling one off new or used items, vintage collectors & fashion brands. The costs to the seller for anything sold, is a flat 10% commission.
The key USP of the portal is that the community can see what their friends and influencers are liking, buying and selling, which has built an ecosystem supporting Depop ‘s continuing growing users without, to date, any advertising . At present around 65% of sales are UK based but a recent push in to the US is fuelling an increase in international sales. They also have a team of curators that help users discover new and exciting products on the platform.
When James launched Bankside in 2017 his focus was first to sell through his own platform. He soon came to realise driving traffic and making sales as a new brand was an uphill struggle, and going to take much longer than he thought.