Sozy, which stands for Soft + Cozy, is a small, female-founded clothing company that supports women in every part of their business. Styles are designed by women, for women, with 10% of profit supporting survivors of sexual violence and an additional 10% supporting other charitable and environmental initiatives. Sozy is carbon neutral, B Corp Certified and is part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, where one tree is planted with each order. To say it’s a brand worth supporting is an understatement!
While a lot of brands look to resale to further their sustainability practices, Sozy was already doing more than most for the planet. Sozy was facing different challenges: inventory management and declining demand post-pandemic.
Sozy launched in 2019 and grew rapidly during COVID-19 when people were staying home and prioritizing comfortable clothing. Some even had extra cash on hand and were able to justify spending more on comfort and quality than they may have previously. However, like many e-commerce businesses this year due to global economic uncertainty, Sozy saw a decline in sales and sought low-lift, high-impact strategies to retain customers and drive incremental revenue.
Sozy found that over the past three years they were collecting hundreds of sample designs, photoshoot items and returned inventory. Around 15% of all returned items had to get damaged-out for various reasons. This left Sozy with a garage-full of high quality products with either a snag, stain or other malfunction, to be deemed unsellable.
“I don't feel comfortable selling a $60 top with a tiny little stain, but it's certainly not trash,” said operations officer, Sam Mendelsohn. “We needed a solution that would benefit our brand and our customers.”
A resale solution was always on the radar for Sozy, who saw ample customer activity in Buy, Sell, and Trade (BST) Facebook groups and listings on Poshmark. Sozy founders watched as brands like Patagonia successfully entered into the branded resale space, but felt that specific implementation was too complicated and costly for their own brand. While exploring the resale market, they originally looked into several players in the resale space, but found challenges due to their complex integrations, cost, and time to onboard.
Sozy founders finally found the low-lift, high-impact solution they were seeking when they discovered Treet, the most flexible resale solution for modern brands. With Treet, Sozy was able to launch their resale experience, Sozy Pre-Loved, in under four weeks. Sozy used their resale platform to move the excess inventory, in addition to hosting peer-to-peer sales of gently-used items.
To market their resale program, Sozy began sending quarterly emails to their customers highlighting the How-Tos of buying and selling on Sozy Pre-Loved. They also set up an automated email 60 days after a purchase that invites shoppers to come buy or sell on their site.
After seeing success (75% sell-through rate) and incremental revenue with rapid sales on brand direct pieces on the Pre-Loved site, founder Lanai Moliterno ran a test selling pre-loved items in bulk, known as “Sozy Mystery Bags”. These bags included 10 items of similar size with minor defects at a highly discounted rate.
The customer response to Sozy Pre-loved was overwhelming. Since partnering with Treet, they were able to sell through 3 years of excess inventory in 3 months, achieving 97% sell-through rate for their items. By strategically pacing out listings of the mystery bags, it has also established an exclusivity to their launches that has resulted in increased demand. Plus, the customer sentiment around their resale site has been positive, with customers actively coming back to Sozy Pre-Loved to buy or sell something.
A lot of their success can be attributed to the strong community Sozy has built since launching their brand. That said, Sam believes resale success is a good indicator of a sticky customer base: “You have really good retention and what you're creating means something to people, if people are willing to even go and resell it. Treet feels like an indicator that you have a community that's growing on the trailing wake of your brand”.
Are you a brand that’s interested in building out a similar resale program for your customers? Contact us here to get started.