Relevance & Research Question:
French people have discovered a passion for recycling! Circular economy is growing, offline with “brocantes” (=flea markets) everywhere, and online with online marketplaces selling second hand products.
But French people do not use ebay, they use LeBoncoin.fr; the 4th most visited website in France (with 26 million unique visitors per month, right below giant tech companies) where all types of secondhand products can be found.
Another surprise comes from the youngsters (aged 15-25 yo). They do love old stuff! For many categories of products, ranging from clothes to smartphones, younger consumers would rather shop second hand than new.
This research, conducted for Le Bon Coin, is aimed at explaining the attractiveness of old products to the younger generation.
This research relies on a two-step process
1) Online behaviour (web visits and apps usages) of 300 young French tracked for more than one year. We have focused on their secondhand products shopping online patterns.
2) These respondents were then invited to participate in an online community. We organized a 7-day community on the topics of consumption, collaborative consumption and online vintage shopping with more than 100 individuals.
This research shows second hand goods fulfill two major aspirations of these new generations; firstly the quest for more sustainable practices, and secondly the desire for individual distinction. Circular economy is perceived as ethically more acceptable, and second hand products tend to be more unique or exclusive: vintage goods offer double the reward for these young consumers, who wish to appear more responsible and less conformist than their elders.
These results are based on a segmentation of young people buying old stuff online.
These findings help to understand the disruptive mindset of these new customers and will be of great interest to retailers and brands that need to quickly address shifts in attitudes and behaviors of young consumers. From a more actionable perspective, our research also focuses on best practices for online platforms for buying, selling and trading used products to highlight what leboncoin has achieved in France and what ebay did not.