How might we scale the business through a deep understanding of target consumers?

Inspirational Insight | Market Foresight | Brand Marketers | Consumer Insights Teams

depop saw 85% year-on-year sales growth and now has over 16.5m Gen Z users.

depop case study post it

The Challenge

A high growth venture with ambitious targets. The founders knew they had something special. For depop to become the go-to social shopping app it is today the startup needed to understand who its target audience was and what motivated them.

They wanted to increase platform penetration with 16-24 year-old mobile fashion buyers across the US and UK. But how do you scale a business and market in a meaningful way if you don’t yet understand who your customers are? Sense Worldwide was invited onboard to expose the sector, understand future consumers and find areas for growth.


Our Approach

To scale the business globally, the tech start-up needed an in-depth understanding of what would motivate users to engage with the marketplace now and in the future. This would help them focus marketing efforts. Addressing users in a meaningful way.

We set out to provide actionable insights into the different types of users. The key was to establish what would motivate them to download, engage, use, and share the app. We would bring these segments to life with perspectives from The Sense Network. We set out to identify segment size, gauge the total addressable market, diagnose spending power and measure existing brand awareness.


How The Sense Network Helped

An exploratory quantitative research survey. 900 respondents from The Sense Network brought to light behaviours and attitudes on the category and spending. From this, we identified distinct statistical robustness buyer personas.

But consumers are not simply the sum of their data. We needed to go deeper. We hosted in-depth interviews with members of The Sense Network. Speaking to thrifty fashionistas, masterful connoisseurs, label lovers, penny-pinchers and highstreet trendies. They invited us into their lives, allowing us to step into their worlds – their bedrooms, wardrobes, dressing rooms, and shopping journeys. These diverse users brought to life archetypes for each persona by developing the human story behind the consumer group.

The Outcomes

Consumer segmentation in the form of six personas. These brought to life potential depop users; offering insight into their attitudes, behaviours, aspirations and decision making drivers. Buyer segmentation was used to identify untapped growth opportunities, informing the business’s marcomms strategy.


The Result

Embedding these personas at the heart of their strategy, depop experienced 85% year-on-year sales growth. This resulting in an estimated 100% increase in revenue ($230 million to $460 million). There are now over 21 million depop users, with 80% of users coming from the target Gen Z market. The personas fit like a glove.


Today 80% of Depop users are under 25-years-old, its users sold $230 million of clothing last year, and are on track to double that to $460 million.

CEO, depop


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