Many have expressed concern about the recent changes to the Poshmark platform, the Ambassador program and even proclaiming plummeting sales as a result. As a software architect and someone who works in eCommerce (online retail), I thought I’d help explain what happens when a major retail platform undergoes an overhaul, what to expect and how you can adapt to bring your sales back to normal.
Poshmark has lots and lots of mathematical code that runs in the background called algorithms. Think of those algorithms as the blood that runs through your body. It keeps the heart beating, notifies you when something is wrong, and works with your organs to keep you healthy. The algorithms collect data every millisecond and Poshmark uses that data to do *everything*. Data tells them when things are trending, when something is failing or is broken, finds the spammers and removes them automatically, everything you can imagine (times 1,000,000,000). In short, the two most important things the Poshmark app has to work with are the ALGORITHMS and DATA.
1. Why did all the closets go to crickets when they made these changes? Everything has been reset and it takes time to build back up. The algorithms have had to start from scratch which means the DATA has to start from scratch too. It’s like going from being in a coma to running a marathon. Think that can happen overnight? Nope. Lots and lots of data has to be collected, lots of physical therapy (fixing what’s not working, tweaking, analyzing the data) and building back up to what it once was. As the data builds back up, the app gets stronger and stronger & will eventually be back in the Boston Marathon…but we aren’t quite there yet.
2. The Poshmark Ambassador program is another set of algorithms, an engine that is collecting data from your closets to bring people to you. It’s sweeping through all of your closets, checking brands, sizes and activity and then using that data to target other Poshers. That engine then displays us in their feeds, under the “Find People” section and shows our items when people are searching for things. This is a BIG DEAL. It’s free advertising!
How to leverage the Poshmark Ambassador program.
First and foremost, you have to spend time on your listings in your titles & descriptions. When the app is searching for brands, colors, sizes, condition…it’s searching the words you use (keywords). If you want to find a large, black Tory Burch Kensington Tote are you going to search for “black bag” or are you going to get more specific? If your title says “Black Bag” and mine says “Tory Burch Black Large Kensington Tote” who do you think is going to come up in search results first? Furthermore, if I find several of those totes and I see a listing that has “excellent condition” and not much else vs. all of the measurements, condition, even disclosing any tiny flaws, who do you think I’m going to buy from? All that being said, the algorithms are also looking at those keywords (data) and storing it up to make the program better. Only by collecting lots and lots and LOTS of data is Poshmark going to be be able to send people our way. Ever heard the expression “garbage in/garbage out”? If you feed Posh garbage that’s exactly what you’re going to get back.
Secondly, you MUST be active, but in a way that makes the algorithms happy. You have to follow, share, welcome new Poshers, create no less than three listings every day (even if it’s relisting something old) and following & sharing back the activity you get in return. Making the algorithms happy is like doing a workout everyday. The more you do it, the better shape you get in and the stronger you are. Poshmark recognizes this activity and rewards you by sending you buyers, putting you high up in the “trending” results and basically giving you a giant chocolate eclair with zero calories.
So, for those who feel like the Ambassador program has crashed your closet you’re only partly correct. Sure, it slowed things down for a bit but you can “work out” and get back into shape by keeping at it. If you refuse to change and adapt to the way things are now you cannot expect to be successful. You also need to be patient. This is not going to happen overnight and they have lots of kinks to work out, lots of data to gather, lots of physical therapy. You can be sure that YOU not making sales is not doing them any favors. Poshmark made these changes in order to make the platform super “in shape” and running like a top. It WILL work for you if you put the effort in now and KEEP making the effort.
If you have done all the things I have mentioned above and are not seeing your sales back to where they were, don’t give up yet. Before you argue that you’ve already done all of that, remember we are still in that settling-in time. Poshmark has to build up the data and keep tweaking before it will fully bounce back. It takes time! The more active you are, the faster the platform will get better.
For those who are considering opting out of the program I would strongly recommend you think long and hard about that decision. Opting out is permanent and when Poshmark is back in shape you’ll be left in the dust while everyone else who has put in the work will sail across the finish line. So, buck up, Buttercup! Buckle down and get to work. Revamp your listings, focus on quality, and stay active!
Kim aka @poshmark_paige