During recent meetings I have been asked about my favorite apps and why I use particular sites over others. A New York Times article categorized shopping websites and apps into five different groups: Virtual Closets, Scrapbookers, Critics, Social Shoppers and Stylists. All of which caused me to reflect upon how I am tailoring my digital media to meet my shopping needs and wants. A common thread between all the platforms I frequent is convenience and ease of use. Shopping should be fun and easy, never a chore in my opinion.
Thinking about my personal shopping habits, how they were derived and which platforms I currently use takes me back to my youth and hours spent at the mall. I was the girl who ditched school to go shopping at a bigger mall out of town and my devotion to fashion was worth the risk. My gift of the gab got me voted “Most Social” in high school and I still throw a great party. Therefore, it makes complete and total sense (to me at least) that I am a “social shopper” with a love of social commerce and shopping parties. Shopping directly from a feed of products, designers and retailers hand-selected by the ultimate customer, me, and having digital friends share in potential purchases is all part of the fun.
Layout has long been an interest of mine - in my youth I "scrapbooked" sticker albums, and a rotating collage of posters, pictures, and magazine clippings adorned my bedroom walls. Sites such as Fancy and Pinterest made me realize I am not alone in my digital hobby. Filtering through the endless amount of content available on the Internet, and organizing my favorite finds into concise collections for others to discover new items and cull inspiration from, is a perfect form of self-expression. Curating finds and searching products based on shared taste allows me to indulge my love of presentation while seeking out the newest, latest and greatest content before the masses catch on.
Since my shopping habits started forming at a young age, I am curious to see how the 12 to 17-years-old demographic will shop a decade or two down the line, and how web applications will complement or alter their habits. The fashion cycle is increasingly faster with more apps and sites popping up to capture spending dollars. Companies are constantly challenged with higher consumer expectations to not only deliver, but also to evolve and enhance existing platforms, as well as create new features and technology to dazzle buyers in hopes of making a sale. Whether shopping brick-and-mortar, making purchases online, via Facebook or mobile devices, consumers have a variety of options to choose from. Do the virtual platforms you use mirror your real-life shopping habits? Chances are if I can easily browse the goods, socialize and shop, that's where I'll be. After all, once a mallrat, always a mallrat.