Flickr / Photo by Glen Scott.

How Mobile First Shopping Apps Are Changing How We Shop

This week, I downloaded a new and increasingly popular app Depop. I had come to know about Depop because many influencers and celebrities I follow on Instagram had been posting about the app and linking their Depop accounts in their photo captions and bios. Depop is reminiscent of eBay in that users set up an account on which they can both buy and sell clothing items; on the other hand, it differs from eBay because it’s mobile first, and there is no bidding involved. Overall, I had a positive user experience and found it easy to use with an attractive interface. I ended up buying two clothing items that I wouldn’t have been able to find easily online or in a brick and mortar store. They were both vintage clothing items sold at fairly low prices. I was impressed because if sold on eBay, the prices for these items would have gone up as more people were bidding, but since I was the first person to request to buy the items, I received them at the exact listing value.

Key features that make Depop easy to use for both sellers and buyers is that Depop users get to set their own prices, and each seller is graded on a five-star scale in a similar fashion to Yelp. Just as you can look up Yelp reviews of a restaurant to get a sense of how other people feel about it, you can look up a Depop shop’s review before buying from them. This develops a sense of transparency that users often yearn for when shopping online. The messaging feature also adds to the feeling of transparency; once a user buys an item, you receive a tracking number and a message from the online shop alerting that the product is on the way. The messaging user interface looks similar to other messaging apps that people are familiar with, providing a sense of familiarity that helps new users get accustomed to the app. Overall, I loved my experience using Depop, and I can see it becoming one of my favorite shopping methods. The opportunity for innovation within the fashion industry and online shopping industry is huge, and Depop seems to be taking the familiar concept of online marketplaces and repurposing it in a way that speaks to millennial and Gen Z shoppers.

Flickr / Photo by Glen Scott.