3 Game-Changing New Ways to Shop Online
Wen it comes to shopping, everyone—from department stores to new labels—is looking for new ways to be innovative. In fact, we’re often bombarded by so many new apps and e-commerce destinations that we end up overwhelmed and unsure which new site promises street-style-worthy fashion at lower prices and which new app offers socially curated finds. It’s enough to make any style lover’s head swim, but lucky for you, we’ve spent a ton of time downloading, registering, and playing tons of new shopping experiences. Here, we’ve highlighted three that are really worth trying.
There are so many shoppable sites out there—from huge department stores re-created online to individual brands’ e-commerce sites—that it can be tough for an upstart to stand out. Garmentory manages to do just that by offering a shopping model that’s truly different: naming your own price.
“I have always been a case-by-case person when it comes to everything. Some shoppers send way out-of-line offers, but others send quite respectful ones that allow you to say, ‘Sure, why not?'” explains Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada, a brand that sells on the site. On the site, certain items show a retail price and a suggested offer, though the actual dollar amount entered is up to the shopper. Once you suggest a price, you then wait for an email saying whether your price has been accepted; if it is, your credit card is charged and a package begins its journey to you.
The current slate of vendors includes designers and boutiques, some of which have their own e-commerce presence, and others with none at all. “I’ve been working with small fashion businesses for more than 10 years and reconnected with Garmentory’s cofounder a few years ago,” Adele Tetangco, vice president of brand and merchandise for the site, said. “I was consulting with a group of boutiques and knew their challenges firsthand. It was a waste for stores to be putting great items away at the end of a season without having a chance to really sell through everything.” The site has recently added full-price items, which are not included in the feel-free-to-bargain arrangement.
If you’ve always wished shopping felt more like a game, prepare to download this app immediately. Once you launch Covet, you’ll select an avatar and begin dressing it in clothing and accessories that are also available to purchase (fun!). There’s often a theme (one actual example: a “sweet, light-as-air look inspired by cotton candy”), allowing outfits to face off on a split-screen model that urges you to select a favorite between community creations.
Ready to shop? You can purchase a piece you’ve styled on your digital mini-me or cruise to a section where everything is laid out. Covet’s currently working with around 150 brands, and there’s a good mix of new and established names like Mara Hoffman, Zimmermann, and Parker.
Sure, it may seem like another fun way to waste time on your phone, but the app’s truly best-in-class. Vice president of brands and marketing Blair Ethington was selected to give a talk at this year’s SXSW on mobile entertainment marketing. “I used to play a lot of different casual and simulation games, but always lost interest. They weren’t providing lasting value,” she told us. “Since half of our users don’t consider themselves gamers, we wanted to add value so she can rationalize spending almost an hour in the app every day.”
Subscription-based delivery boxes aren’t exactly new: Typically, you select what you want from the curated goods delivered to your doorstep, send back the rest, and allow your credit card to be charged for what you do keep. Le Tote, however, stands out from the pack by sending casual, everyday clothes that you can decide to purchase or, in a completely new twist, wear and return, free of charge (items are then cleaned and sent out to new potential buyers). That’s right, you can try before you buy.
The service costs $49 a month, and each box includes three items of clothing and two accessories. While there’s certainly a grab-bag feeling to what arrives in the mail, customers have 24 hours to view what’s being prepared to ship to decide if they’d rather swap anything out.