Remember Aqua Netting your hair up to hit the mall with your best friends? The mall was the place to be if you were anybody 20+ years ago. But in the 2010s, cruising the mall is sooooo last century. Since the vast majority of communication takes place online, it was only a matter of time before shopping followed suit. Thanks to Amazon, we can order anything our hearts desire without leaving the couch and our smartphone. Now, trips to the mall with your BFF have been replaced with online “shopping communities” where fashionistas the world over can dish on the latest trends (I hear faux fur vests are HUGE for fall). Mobile apps are taking the fashion world by storm, and with that in mind, here are a few of the latest apps that embrace the idea of “social shopping.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Bestie

If you’re tired of slogging through dozens of websites and apps in a quest for the coolest clothes, hottest accessories and hippest products from vegan purple hair dye to $37,000 Rolex watches, meet Bestie. Bestie is part fashion finder service, part virtual mall, and part social network for shopaholics. The new Bestie app makes you feel like you're shopping with your BFF all in the comfort of wherever you are in the world.

“We started posting products that our curators were finding interesting several months ago when our website was just a shell with no functionality, and suddenly we had 16,000 Facebook followers,” said Bestie co-founder Gary Lipovetsky. “That showed us that people were hungry for a place to find unusual products from $24 crochet dresses to $2,000+ designer jackets that fit their personal style and tastes.” This recently launched social shopping community allows users to post their favorite items and browse awesome finds from other contributors. Users can shop top brands (like Nasty Gal and Nordstrom), share and comment on amazing discoveries, find merchant discounts ranging from 30-70 percent, and click to buy any item from the original seller. The app is available for iPhone and Android, but you can use an “old fashioned” browser on your computer. Content is contributed by you, your friends and fellow community members; professional staff curators who are paid to unearth the Bestie of the best; and hundreds of top brands and boutiques like Bebe, Bloomingdale’s, Etsy, FreePeople, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop and Victoria’s Secret.

GoodShop

Mobile shoppers looking for big savings at their favorite stores can turn to the Goodshop app, a new iOS app with the latest coupons and deals at more than 5,000 online stores. In addition to being a great way to save money, the Goodshop app adds some extra meaning, as a percentage of virtually every purchase is donated to the shopper’s favorite cause. “The Goodshop app is a wonderful way for people to incorporate ‘doing good’ into their everyday lives, while shopping,” said Colin Morris, VP of Product at Goodshop. “We see it as a perfect win-win, where shoppers can purchase everything they need, save money with great deals, and make the world better too.” The Goodshop app provides shoppers with more than 200,000 coupons, deals, and promo codes at thousands of retailers like Amazon, Macy’s, Target, and Staples. Virtually every time they shop, the app directs an average of 3 percent of their purchases to the shopper’s chosen cause, all at no extra cost to them. Users can choose which cause to support from a list of more than 110,000 schools and nonprofits in the US – everything from the biggest national organizations, like the ASPCA and Stand Up For Cancer, to smaller environmental agencies and local food banks or schools.

Shopography

Shopography puts you inside a shopping community that organically chooses only the best products selected by people you trust. Shopography makes everyone a trend setter by letting users share their specific product knowledge with friends. DJs can tell their friends what headphones to buy. Avid readers can ask their network for book recommendations. This app can help you cut through the low-grade clutter you shouldn’t bother with. Shopography Audio Speakers

The app also lets users scan barcodes of items IRL (in real life) and post them to social media channels outside of the app like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Kidizen

This app is for the moms out there. Children grow so incredibly fast that it probably seems like a waste to buy brand new clothes when lightly used would suffice. Enter Kidizen. Kidizen is a place for parents (grandparents and others) to buy and sell kidstuff. According to the company’s website, “It’s for the things that ought to be loved by many and deserve a long life. And it’s for folks who recognize the value, and downright awesomeness, of pre-loved things.” Owners Mary and Dori experienced the accumulation of stuff that came with raising kids. When they realized they were “always hunting for something our kids need when we already have more stuff than we can manage,” they saw it as an opportunity to change the non-stop cycle. In a letter on their website, they wrote, ”It’s increasingly difficult to spend less, but we still want the best for our kids. We want things for our children that express their unique style and spark their imaginations. A community of like-minded parents seems a logical place to look. And there’s a certain comfort in knowing another family will love and appreciate our things just as much as we did.”

Styletag

Styletag brings together expert curated and crowd-sourced photos of fashion trends and designer styles. It provides the user the opportunity to strut their stuff within a community of fashion’s most recognized faces, while browsing and shopping for favorite looks. The inspiration is endless as the app is chock full of the newest trends and must-have styles. Users can follow their friends, top fashion bloggers, celebrities, and models. Plus, they can build their own lookbooks and share them with a community entirely devoted to fashion. Styletag

Styletag also tells you where to shop for the looks you love, along with suggested matching items. This is the fashion app that allows fashionistas to explore and purchase styles from their favorite places to shop – including Saks, Zara, Barneys, Gilt, H&M, Uniqlo, and Fab.

Other app features include: FEATURED – Discover dynamic inspiration through high-quality fashion photos from fashion insiders around the globe.

EXPLORE – Search for specific dress and outfit trends in vogue now, along with timeless classics and essential basics recommended by the world’s savviest shoppers and style icons.

SHOP – Go directly to purchase pages to easily and instantly shop for your favorite looks.

LOOKBOOK – Create lookbooks of fashion styles and trends you love. Post and share your own style within the fashion community via the photo upload tool.

TOP PEOPLE – Follow and connect with a community of models, fashion icons, designers, and beauty experts from around the globe.

MY PROFILE – Create a profile within the fashion community that enables you to explore bold styles and build your own fashion identity.

SOCIAL SHARING – Share your outfits and styles seamlessly onto your Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts.

To read the Luxe Beat Magazine version of this article click on the title Social Shopping The New Mall

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