The Marketplace Boom   //   June 13, 2024

Poshmark launches its latest live shopping bet Posh Party Live

Poshmark is ramping up its bet on livestream shopping with a new offering called Posh Party Live. 

Poshmark’s latest feature is a beefed-up version of the platform’s Posh Parties — real-time shopping events where sellers and shoppers get together on the company’s app in a virtual room of sorts and share items according to a curated theme. Previously, these events weren’t livestreamed but instead were hosted in a chatroom-like forum. With Posh Party Live, buyers and sellers can now browse and purchase items over live video. The new Posh Party Live events will also include curated listings and merchandise according to specific themes, whether that’s summer dresses, animal print or quiet luxury.

A real-time feed on the app’s homepage will showcase various parties that are happening, as well as live shopping auctions and an assortment of curated listings that have been shared by Poshmark users. Sellers can host their own livestream to match the theme or share an individual closet listing, which can be spotlighted in the Posh Party Live feed. The tool also lets party hosts merge two streams together, combining traffic numbers and potentially boosting sales. 

For sellers, it’s an opportunity to leverage the followings of some of the platform’s biggest sellers to gain new customers and drive sales. For shoppers, the curated nature of the events help them discover items that suit their individual tastes. Brands, which have been increasingly testing out Poshmark’s livestream services, can also take advantage of the new feature by collaborating with users to sell their items. 

Posh Party Live’s release comes about a year after the company debuted Posh Shows, the company’s first foray into livestream shopping and selling. Since South Korean tech giant Naver acquired Poshmark last year, livestream shopping has emerged as the platform’s most significant business strategy.

“The volume of Posh Shows has exploded, so how do you curate that? How do you bring people together?” Manish Chandra, founder and CEO of Poshmark, told Modern Retail in an interview. “That’s what we’re doing with Posh Party Live.”

Poshmark’s push into live shopping seems to be gaining traction. More than 1 million Posh Shows have been hosted since the technology was released in April of last year. The average number of Posh Shows hosted daily has increased by 57% since the technology was released last April, according to a company representative. The average total watch time per day has also climbed by 51%.

“It’s one of the fastest-growing businesses we’ve ever built in our history,” Chandra said. 

It’s all adding up to bigger sales for the platform’s approximately 130,000 million users. The number of sellers earning at least $100,000 a year on Poshmark has climbed by nearly 50%, according to Chandra. 

For Newport Beach, California-based seller Sammie Moreno, Poshmark’s live-selling platform has enabled her to pay her bills and rent when she’s in between gigs. Typically, she hosts five shows a week for several hours starting at 10 a.m. in the morning. She sold $34,000 worth of inventory last year — mostly apparel, including plus-size clothes — and estimates that she will earn more by the end of this year. Moreno hopes Posh Party Live will encourage more collaboration between experienced and newer hosts to help teach best practices, especially since live selling can seem intimidating to first-time hosts.

The growth of Poshmark’s live-shopping tech hasn’t taken away from the company’s in-person events, however. In fact, the introduction of liveselling has buoyed Poshmark’s physical events, which include local meet-ups known as Posh + Connect and its annual conference PoshFest, as well as other live events the company puts on. 

“The popularity of these events over the last year has been on the rise, much bigger than what we saw even pre-Covid in some cases,” Chandra said. “We’ve added live selling and live shows to these parties, so that whole format has become very engaging and very exciting.”

Poshmark is betting its biggest sellers will help adopt its virtual shopping parties. “As we bring more creators online, their communities follow, as well, so that’s also driving growth,” Chandra said. 

Still, live shopping remains a nascent market in the U.S. compared to China, where the technology is much more common. While livestream e-commerce in China is expected to grow 25% to $703 billion this year, only 14% of adults in the U.S. have bought something from a livestream shopping event, according to eMarketer. 

Some of the biggest tech companies in the U.S. have already walked back their best on live shopping. Meta, for example, shut down Instagram’s and Facebook’s live shopping features last year after a major push into e-commerce at the beginning of the pandemic. 

TikTok’s live shopping tool TikTok Shop has gained some momentum in the U.S. since it was released last fall but currently faces a nationwide ban if it doesn’t separate from its Chinese-owned parent company within the year. The platform has also been buggy as it works out various kinks, creating pain points for brands and shoppers alike, Modern Retail previously reported

To Blake Droesch, a retail analyst at eMarketer, the biggest challenge facing live selling in the U.S. is getting more consumers to try it out — and to stick with it. As Droesch put it, “It remains to be determined when or even if livestream shopping is ever going to become a thing in the U.S.”