You’re no stranger to online shopping but there are many who are finally jumping on the bandwagon. The number of digital shoppers is expected to reach 175 million by 2016.
As reported by eMarketer, online retail sales will grow from $225.5 billion in 2012 to $434.2 billion in 2017.
While we’re busy juggling school, jobs, and our social lives, having new purchases delivered to our door is just too convenient to pass up. Here are 5 essential online shopping websites you should know about:
For women with an edgier fashion-sense, Nasty Gal is the place to shop for all of the trendiest vintage-inspired styles. The company started as an eBay page in 2006 when founder Sophia Amoruso began selling off the vintage designer clothing she found at the Salvation Army.
Amoruso named the company after the Betty Davis album of the same title, and even with all of its recent success -- The New York Times reported that Nasty Gal sold nearly $100 million of clothing and accessories profitably last year -- the name still receives perplexed looks.
In 2008, the site expanded from solely vintage pieces to selling vintage-inspired looks from vendors in the Los Angeles area. The site is easy to navigate, allowing customers to search by size, color and price. The site also provides multiple pictures of clothing from different angles so customers know exactaly what they’re purchasing. Nasty Gal also had a great sale section for those of us on a budget.
With product reviews, “Love it” buttons, and shareable merchandise, ModCloth is about as social of a shopping experience you can find online. This site has a vintage-inspired vibe with modern twist that even the most forward-trending fashionista can appreciate. ModCloth adds new merchandise on a daily basis, beckoning its customers to come back time and time again.
Created by husband and wife Eric and Susan Koger, the e-retailer offers a vast array of products from clothing to bath decor. The site’s “Be the Buyer” program allows users to vote on the products they want to see. With all of the user input and the resemblance to social media, its easy-to-use features offer a great new way to shop online.
According to AHALife founder Shauna Mei, traditional ecommerce is so focused on search and practicality that it takes the fun out of shopping. This was Mei’s main inspiration for creating AHALife, a web-based discovery destination that gives its users the ability to stumble across interesting items.
The site, which launched in 2010, offers two methods of shopping: a Shop tab and a Discover tab. The shop tab lets customers search by category to find exactly what they want. The discover tab is similar to a window-shopping experience. AHALife also offers a different take on the online shopping experience by letting its users create “Collections,” a la Pinterest. Through this feature, customers collect different objects that they may want to buy now or save for the future.
For every fashion-forward Gen Y-er, Asos boasts the latest trends and curates over 850 brands to shop through. Like most fashion websites, Asos has pictures of a product from various angles, but it also has a useful “View Runway” feature. Clicking this option takes you to a video showing the model walking down the runway in your item of choice, showing users exactly how the outfit looks and moves.
Based in the UK, Asos ships to over 190 countries for free, a great perk. Asos is also home to the “Marketplace,” which allows users to buy and sell their own vintage outfits. Shop here to find reasonable prices on pre-owned products.
Rent the Runway
Have a big event coming up? Don’t want to spree for that expensive designer dress? Even though it isn’t a shopping website, Rent the Runway makes our list because of its practicality, especially for users opposed to repeating an outfit too many times.
Created by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss in 2009, this site lets users rent an array of designer dresses and handbags for either a 4-day or 8-day period, for about 10% of the product’s retail price. After using it, simply ship it back in the pre-paid envelope.
The site provides customer reviews with pictures, allowing its users to see how the dress fits. RTR will also send you the dress in two sizes to choose from, another practical feature if the website.
In an increasingly fast-paced society where trends change on a day-to-day basis, rely on these shopping websites to help you stay up-to-date on the latest finds and styles. It’s just too convenient not to!
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