Unconventional Web Design Helped Spring Become a Successful Mobile ‘Cyber Mall’ App Within Eight Months

A woman is in the jewelry store
It’s a simple mobile app with a simple name — Spring — but it’s something that that marketing experts are calling the first successful “cyber mall,” and it might just change the way consumers think about mobile shopping.

The company started eight months ago, when brothers David and Alan Tisch launched the app in August 2014 on the iOS platform. Spring only had 22 employees in tow, according to a report by Business Insider, and was only working with a modest number of well-known brands in the fashion industry to create one single catalog that includes all the brands.

The concept behind Spring was based on previous shopping apps like Seamless and Grubhub, which work as third-party middlemen in between consumers and manufacturers. Rather than purchasing items and reselling them, like traditional retail stores do, these shopping apps merely take consumers’ orders and deliver them to the manufacturers.

The major difference between Spring and other shopping apps, however, is that its design is more consumer-friendly and mobile-friendly. The layout resembles a Pinterest board or Instagram feed, as BI noted, and focuses on informal “lifestyle photos” instead of staged “product shots.” Consumers upload payment information (or simply connect with their Apple account, since Spring is already integrated with Apple Pay), and they can purchase items with a simple swipe.

By cutting out the fluff that other mobile shopping apps still use, Spring was able to increase its products (it now works with over 700 different brands, according to Fortune) without becoming too overwhelming for consumers. Considering that 75% of consumers admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility and quality just based on the business’s website design, Spring was able to appeal to consumers in a way that other “cyber malls” have not.

Spring recently closed out its second round of funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $30 million, and the app just launched on Android devices. Experts estimate that the company, which is now supported by a team of 48 employees, is worth about $90 million.