It may be simple for brands to create their own web storefronts today, but doing the same for mobile is a far more difficult task. With that challenge in mind, David Tisch, an angel investor at Box Group and former TechStars NY managing director, set out to create Spring, a mobile marketplace that gives brands a simple way to let consumers shop with them. After a year of development, Spring is launching today on the iPhone. And while there’s no shortage of shopping apps out there, it’s actually doing something truly different.
If Americans shopped the same way we use social platforms, it would make brands very happy. We spend 16 minutes out of every hour online visiting sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, and many of us show up specifically for shopping inspiration. It’s like the online equivalent of hanging out at the mall–except that you cannot buy anything–and it’s no wonder that many startups have cropped up with hopes of creating a similar experience specifically for shopping. There’s The Fancy, which allows users to “fancy” as well as buy the products that populate its feeds. There’s WaneLo and Keep, which encourage users to share products and have clear e-commerce aspirations. And as of today, there’s Spring, a startup that attempts to recreate the experience of shopping in Soho within an app (it’s named after Spring Street). “Sometimes you know what you want,” says David Tisch, who cofounded the app with his brother, Alan, and ex-Googler Octavian Costache. “Sometimes you know categorically what you want, sometimes you know what store. But other times you’re just going to hang out. “