Mobile technology is catching on with the online shopping crowd. But mobile storefronts are still not nearly as common as online storefronts.
Part of the reason behind this has to do with access. Since the technology is newer, it’s not quite as easy for people to set up mobile shopping experiences.
Creating an app or even a mobile-friendly eCommerce site can cost more money and take more time than a traditional website. So small retailers especially have found it difficult to keep up.
But there are still some opportunities for retailers to take advantage of mobile technology. Spring, a mobile marketplace for fashion brands, could be one such opportunity.
Started by David Tisch, an angel investor at Box Group and former TechStars NY managing director, the Spring app is a mix of eCommerce and social media.
Brands are encouraged to actively add their own photos and content to the platform. And Spring encourages them to create interesting content for their followers. So instead of just uploading plain product photos, they might take some original photos of their items styled in a unique way.
Spring app users can then follow their favorite fashion brands and make purchases through the platform. But it’s not an intermediary like some other mobile shopping platforms. Spring doesn’t hold any inventory – it just connects users with the brand’s existing eCommerce infrastructure.
That means that brands partnering with Spring don’t need to create their own mobile apps or shopping experiences. If they have a regular online shop, they can just connect it with Spring and let customers shop there.
Of course, for that method to be successful a lot of people will need to sign up for the Spring app, which is currently just available for Apple users.
The format could come with some drawbacks for shoppers though. Since customers will be dealing with each individual company, the shopping experience won’t be uniform. So companies will need to be sure customers understand their policies in regards to things like payments, returns and exchanges. Tisch told VentureBeat:
“You’re going to have different experiences with different brands; that’s true of any marketplace.”
The Spring app just launched earlier this month with 100 fashion brand partners. Many of these are larger brand names like Hugo Boss, Bonobos, and Warby Parker. But Spring plans to work with many more fashion brands in the future meaning a likely opportunity for smaller companies too.