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Does it work? Vestiaire Collective

The UK might be eBay’s fastest-growing market, but since launching in France in 2009 and now the UK in 2012, Vestiaire Collective is one to watch, becoming a firm favourite as a trusted platform on which users can buy and sell previously owned fashion.

The website differs from other consumer-to-consumer platforms through the combination of unique quality controls and behind-the-scenes fashion experts, in a similar fashion to us at Girl Meets Dress.

I really like the simple home page layout – just the key messages and then straight down to rows of products, which is clever because you find yourself shopping before even clicking a button.

Another important factor in fashion retail is to feature highly aspirational images and lots of content, which this site achieves with Le Journal – the section dedicated to trend suggestions, editor’s choices and interviews.

Founder and chief executive Sébastien Fabre is a 41-year-old French entrepreneur with a background in strategy and business development and I think this shows in the emphasis on Vestiaire Collective acting as a ‘community wardrobe’, with members adding profiles displaying feedback from buyers and follower numbers, all again reinforcing the element of trust.

Social media has a huge presence on the website and with more than 2.5 million social interactions, this is something that few have managed to do better. As well as logging in through Facebook, users are prompted to share, rate or comment on products at every point of the customer journey.

The menu bar features a huge number of different categories but because it is clearly separated by gender and product I find it easy to navigate. When browsing dresses, for example, a detailed filter can render the images so as not to slow the page load speed.

Once on an individual product, the page has everything I need to know, plus social media touchpoints, member reviews and customer support.

The second-hand ecommerce fashion market was never going to be an easy one to nail, but with more than 700,000 users, Vestiaire Collective appears to be doing enough things right.

  • Anna Bance, Co-founder of luxury hire website Girl Meets Dress

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