The luxury consignment peer-to-peer marketplace factors in shoppers' previous behavior in marketing campaigns for a bigger pay off.

Millennials are a key part of luxury marketplace Tradesy’s business.

Because web-only Tradesy sells goods with a higher price point, some might assume that it caters toward an older audience, but that isn’t the case, says Kamini Rangappan Lane, chief marketing officer at Tradesy, a luxury consignment peer-to-peer marketplace.

Half of Tradesy’s website traffic comes from millennials and half of its new users are in that 18-35 age group, the marketplace says. Plus, about 50% of its sales are on mobile devices, the favored means of web access for younger consumers. “Millennials are a really important segment of our customer base,” Lane says.

But when marketing to consumers, Tradesy doesn’t think about its consumer as homogeneous. “An 18-year-old is different from a 34-year-old,” Lane says. “We definitely don’t try to lump millennials into one size fits all.”

For example, Tradesy has hundreds of thousands of app users to whom it sends push notifications. Younger millennials are more apt to tap on a message in a more conversational, light tone, such as a message with an emoji, than an older millennials, she says.


Still, age isn’t a sure indicator of what someone might be interested in, Lane says. Instead, the marketplace segments its marketing campaigns based on shoppers’ previous behavior. “We want to respond to what our users are telling us,” Lane says.

For example, if a shopper is looking at entry-level luxury brands, such as Tory Burch of Michael Kors, Tradesy may send a marketing email about the best deals under $100, as this consumer is likely looking for products at a slightly lower price point, Lane says. If a consumer is looking at higher-end brands, such as Hermès, Tradesy will send a promotion centered on one-of-kind items, or runway pieces that are likely to interest those consumers.

Where a consumer is reading the message, such as on social media or in a browser push notification, is also important.


“Millennials are on different devices and are constantly inundated with messages,” she says. “Part of our strategy is to align the right message, at the right time and with the right channel.”

In 2016, Tradesy designed a campaign to push users to install its app. App users are Trades’ higher-value customers, and so the app is critical to its strategy, she says.

“Our hypothesis was that people who were already interacting with Tradesy on their mobile devices would be most likely to install our app,” Lane says.


Tradesy segmented its email list to consumers who previously opened an email on a mobile device but did not have the app installed. The email, designed for consumers to view on a smartphone, provided consumers with an incentive to install the app, and the marketplace saw a 30% increase in app installs during the campaign.

Overall, Lane knows that Tradesy’s shoppers, millennials and otherwise, have high exceptions and so it wants to ensure marketing messages are relevant to them.

“We know this is a tech-savvy audience, and we know this audience is very familiar with e-commerce. We need to make our actual experience in line with our customer expectations,” Lane says.