Millennials’ Used-Garment Website Says You Can ‘Venmo Me’Alex Barinka
Customers selling their clothes through online resale startup Twice can now ask the company to “Venmo me” to get payments on the go, doing away with the need to cash a check or plug in their bank card details.
Twice, which is akin to an online consignment shop -- paying customers upfront before their clothing and accessories are sold -- is the first company of its kind to use EBay Inc.’s Venmo mobile-payment tool, said Chief Executive Officer Noah Ready-Campbell.
“We are trying to make selling super, super convenient and one of the keys to that is helping people get paid quickly and easily,” Ready-Campbell said in an interview. “We have a lot of younger customers. A bunch of folks have asked for Venmo.”
The alliance is an example of two companies making established businesses easier to use in order to engage with younger consumers, particularly millennials, who often don’t use cash or checks for regular transactions. Twice simplifies the clothing resale process, letting closet purgers ship bags of garments to be sold online, while Venmo makes peer-to-peer money transfers via smartphone.
Twice, a San Francisco-based startup which has raised $23.1 million and counts Andreessen Horowitz as a backer, already uses EBay’s PayPal payments service, checks and store credit to pass on proceeds to customers. With Venmo, users download a mobile-payment app onto a smartphone that can connect to bank and credit-card accounts, enabling them to receive funds with just a few clicks on their phone.
Venmo is mainly used for transferring cash between friends online and using mobile devices, for example, to share rent payments, utility bills or for picking up bar and restaurant tabs. It makes money by charging a fee on credit card payments when consumers use the app for a transaction.
The app also has a social-networking element through a newsfeed that shows users what people in their circle of friends are paying for. Venmo, based in New York, handled $314 million in mobile payments in the first quarter of this year, up 62 percent from the prior quarter.
Adding the Venmo app may help Twice, whose target audience is women from their teens to their thirties, to lure more sellers who it depends on to maintain inventory on the marketplace side of the operation.
Lisa Kornblatt, a spokeswoman for Venmo, confirmed Twice will be using the payment service.
The move could also help Twice counter growing competition from other “re-commerce” companies that sell consumer’s goods for them. Startups like ThredUp Inc., ThreadFlip and Poshmark Inc. are competing with Twice to take a piece of the second-hand clothing market by playing up the services they provide, like professionally photographing the clothing.
Venmo could be the next competitive advantage, said Ready-Campbell.
“Anything that can make the selling process simpler and more convenient is a win for our customers, and a differentiator for Twice.”