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DIGITAL RETAIL READING WEEK Where marketplaces meet sustainability

Just as offline markets aim to offer shoppers more choice, so too do online marketplaces. Image: Goodlux/Shutterstock

We’re investigating the intersection between marketplaces and sustainability in today’s InternetRetailing Digital Retail Reading Week newsletter, in which we circle back to key themes that have stood out in InternetRetailing coverage over the course of an often very busy year. 

In a trend briefing today we report on the new ecommerce rental services that are promising a sustainable alternative to buying outright. Retailers including Moss Bros and LK Bennett are now renting out clothing in a subscription scheme, while shoppers can also hire items from furniture to smartphones. However, there’s a warning that rental schemes may have to work hard to be truly green, because of the hidden costs of delivery and packaging. 

In today’s featured interview, we hear from Matt Potter of eBay’s Certified Refurbished scheme about how the marketplace is helping brands to ensure that products can be resold. The marketplace is giving brands a way to ensure that shoppers can buy their brands on its site and be assured of their quality. 

In a related case study today, we take a look at what sustainability means for AO, which is now operating a Rework facility in one of its warehouses in order to ensure that returned branded goods are up to standard before they are resold.

We add context with a reminder of research that suggests shoppers around the world will make just over half of their purchases online this year, with marketplaces set to be a major beneficiary.


Today’s sector focus is on media, with a round of what you need to know about the TV, video and music streaming markets.

In today’s guest comment, Ed Bradley of Virtualstock makes the case that online and the high street will develop together, not in competition. 

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