Spring

For shopaholics who love Instagram, it might be the perfect app.

Spring, which launched in August, lets consumers follow their favorite fashion brands and shop for new looks on a free mobile app that’s heavy on pretty images.

Spring boasts over 300 brands, from big-time designers such as Derek Lam to startups like Bow & Drape and online retailers like Warby Parker and Everlane.

Co-founders David and Alan Tisch – yes, the two are brothers – say they launched the service to spare consumers from retail app overload. Instead of having to download individual apps to browse and shop for new clothes and accessories, Spring’s users can do it all in one place.

“For brands, it’s the ability to get in front of consumers,” says David Tisch, the former managing director of startup accelerator TechStars and managing partner at early stage investment firm BoxGroup. “We’re not buying inventory, we’re not taking product in-house. We’re just a marketplace.”

Maybe so, but a slick one. Spring’s appeal is its convenience, tailored to the growing number of people who make purchases through their phones. Users choose which brands to follow, then scroll through an Instagram-like feed of jackets, shoes, eyeglasses and other items.

Once customers have registered with their payment information, making a purchase takes only a simple, Tinder-like swipe – which makes impulse buying dangerously easy.

Spring users also can get access to exclusive deals and receive push notifications when favorited items go on sale. As for the brands, they can post as many or as few items as they like (some post upward of 30 times per day).

Shoppers seem to be responding. Though Spring won’t disclose user numbers, Tisch says that about 30% of users are repeat customers.

Tisch says Spring takes a “very small” fee from brands when purchases are made through the platform, but it’s free for brands to sign up and post items for sale.

“We’re not really looking to be aggressive with our prices,” he says. “It’s really the cheapest transactional fee. We want to make it as easy as we can for brands.”

Spring curates these brands, launching between five to 20 new ones each week. The startup’s immediate future looks bright. More than 900 companies have reached out wanting to sell on the platform, Tisch says. And Spring has raised $7.5 million in seed funding from such prominent investors as Google Ventures.

For now, Spring is only available in Apple’s App Store in the United States. But David Tisch says the app plans to launch internationally and add Android and Web-based versions in the next few months.

Source : Young companies, big ideas, Sara Ashley O’Brien ( http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2014/10/tech/cnn10-startups/ )

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