ThredUP’s new marketing director targets young customers. The first dedicated CMO for five years, Noelle Sadler’s mission is to attract younger generations than the typical consumer of the second-hand site.
“The marketing challenges ThredUP will face over the next five years will be different from those we have faced over the past five years,” said Anthony Marino, President. “We have always focused our business on this incredibly enthusiastic and large market of what I will call ‘savers’, people who love the shopping scavenger hunt.”
With the second-hand market expected to grow from $35 billion to $82 billion over the next five years, it won’t just be thrift stores doing their shopping. “People who used to buy new are starting to buy used,” Marino said.
Sadler joins thredUP from online fashion retailer Lulus, where she most recently served as CMO. Before that, she held several senior marketing positions at MAC Cosmetics and co-founded Retold Recycling, a subscription clothing cleaning service.
“My role is not to fix things that aren’t broken, but to really assess and understand what works and see where I can provide value and support and take things to the next level,” said Sadler said. “I don’t think you’re going to see huge, drastic changes coming out of the gate because it works. It’s a testament to the team that built all of this.
“One of the fundamental questions I want Noelle to get to the bottom of is how do we continue to methodically and relentlessly build the interest of the next generation of buyers and savers,” Marino said. “Part of that will be marketing and how we tell our story and why customers should see us, and part of that is how we make shopping convenient for them.
“Fast fashion is easy, and it’s fast and we know the competition is fierce for clothing,” Marino said. “Fast fashion is successful for a reason: it’s really practical and really inexpensive, so we want to offer a really attractive alternative that ticks all the boxes around value and enhances our customers’ sense of personal style.” They also become durable. Customers want all three. If you’re wondering why I’m so excited to join Noelle, it’s because she brings this perspective from her previous experiences at Lulus and MAC and will tap into the motivations of our clients.
Coming from a fast fashion giant may seem counterintuitive, but Sadler thinks second-hand companies like ThredUP have a lot to learn from traditional fashion brands. His two experiences were very different. MAC, a global omnichannel giant has a large footprint, while Lulus is hyper-focused.
“My focus at MAC was the consumer marketing of the business and building everything from social media channels, content marketing strategy and partnerships and eventually, advertising and things like that, which MAC hadn’t done historically,” Sadler said. “It was partnering with the e-commerce team, not overseeing it.
“At Lulus, I really developed my performance marketing skills and took a data-driven approach,” she added. “Even when we were running brand campaigns on a larger scale, we were always looking to figure out how we could drive incremental growth and conversion. I love the story, but I also want to measure it and know it’s working for we.
Sadler said merchandising will play an important role in her new work. “The first thing that is obvious to the customer is to put merchandising first,” she said. “The on-site experience is now focused on specific brands and products, but people typically visit an apparel site or destination with a specific occasion or need in mind, so it’s not necessarily that you’re buying that brand or this item.Many people will come to us for party dresses or back to school outfits.
“It strengthens our merchandising capabilities so that these types of searches actually deliver value and plug in so people can find what they want,” she added. “It will also fuel our marketing. We can do better at storytelling and can bring all of these merchandising marketing moments and opportunities to market to attract more people. When people see us in the market, they will also get great brands and find out what they are looking for and what attracted them in the first place.
Marino said the current economy bodes well for ThredUP. “The reason I think Noelle is the best fit for us is, let’s face it, the American consumer is under a lot of pressure right now,” he said. “There is inflation and uncertainty about the future of the economy. We’re starting to see historic shifts in what consumers are buying and that’s when you need your marketing to be sharp, where the lessons you’ve learned in the past don’t necessarily apply.
“Noelle comes in with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective that all marketers need more than ever,” added Marino. “The consumer is on the move and any merchant who tells you that he knows exactly where the consumer is going is not telling you directly. We need to get back to the data and we need to ask questions. We need to know that we are providing value to them. Noelle comes at a time when we are in growth mode moving forward.
ThredUP, an online thrift store, has become one of the world’s largest online resale platforms for women’s and children’s clothing, footwear and accessories by simplifying the process of buying used goods. Sellers can easily clean out their closets and unlock value for themselves or the charity of their choice while doing good for the planet.
The website is launching an 80% off back-to-school sale this month. “We are totally ready with our back-to-school assortment and merchandising and we have a bunch of campaigns launching during August. We hope to bring some hope and happiness to the American shopper as well. only savings, at a time when he badly needs them.