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Brief Published: 5 Sep 2014

Spring Mobile App: Swipe to Buy

Spring app

US-based mobile app Spring is a new e-commerce platform designed to make discovering and shopping for fashion and beauty products on your phone as quick and intuitive as checking your Instagram or Tinder account.

Drawing heavily on Instagram – now the fastest-growing social network in the world and dominated by millennials, who make up 90% of its users – the app acts like a virtual department store. Each brand has its own feed, to which it uploads lifestyle-based, but fully shoppable content. Users follow their favourite brands and feeds from guest curators, or call up new suggestions via the buttons 'new' and 'discover'. Like Instagram, images can be scrolled through, although they can also be enlarged before being swiped away to carry on.

What makes Spring different to previous incarnations of monetised social media is the ease with which users can buy. On signing up to the service, users enter personal details such as shipping and credit card information. Once signed up, if users like a product in their feed, a simple swipe of the finger to the right will add it to a universal shopping cart, where a number of products from different brands can all be purchased at the same time. In addition, the app sends push notifications to users if a product in their basket has gone on sale or is in limited supply – information that is controlled and generated by the brand.

In a recent interview with US business magazine Forbes, David Tisch, co-founder of Spring, reaffirmed the platform's unique selling point to ensure clarity for those brands that would rather seek out ways to monetise Instagram itself: "We're not a lifestyle app; we're a mobile marketplace of brands to consumers, a direct channel."

For more on the power, influence and future possibilities of monetising social media, see Instagram for Retail Brands, Paytagz to Monetise Instagram, The Social Media Sell, Social Media Seduction, Social Media for the Luxury Sector and Luxury Online for Millennials.

See also Roaming Retail Industry Trend, in which we explore the key strategies for creating more convenient, streamlined and hyper-connected retail services for consumers whose lives are constantly in flux.