Bernard Arnault, Lew Frankfort, and Silas Chou Are Among Its Backers
The word friction is tech-ese for any barrier or obstacle through which a consumer has to pass on his or her path to purchasing an item on an app or a website.
Lowering friction is a primary goal for every tech start-up and veteran online retailer in the universe—and the quest to eliminate friction has given birth to an entire category of apps, tools, and sites that simplify the checkout process by filling in contact and payment info with just a couple of clicks.
Spring, a new shopping app backed by heavyweights including Bernard Arnault, Coach CEO Lew Frankfort, and Wall Street tycoon Silas Chou, launched today. And its friction is practically nonexistent. Spring requires its users to complete precisely one action—in this case, a fingertip sideswipe—to buy an item. The new app also embodies a number of current app ideals: a quick, minimal interface with big photos and easy searchability. Fundamentally, it feels like a shopable Instagram.
Screenshots of the new Spring app
The app also feels like a virtual trade show—but for consumers. Its focus is on fashion-centric apparel and accessories brands, with manufacturers uploading the images and info for items they want to sell. The 450 buzzy brands selling on Spring already include: Everlane, Theory, Carolina Herrera, Alice and Olivia, Andrew Marc, Del Toro, Edie Parker, Helmut Lang, Jason Wu, Nicole Miller, Pierre Hardy, Rebecca Minkoff, Thakoon, and Warby Parker.
Jewelry designers selling on the site include Jennifer Fisher, Wendy Brandes, Erickson Beamon, Luv Aj, Bing Bang Jewelry, Pamela Love, and Fallon.
“We put the relationships between brands and customers first, instead of all [other] social networks that start off as user to user, [where] brands were an afterthought,” David Tisch, cofounder and chairman of the board for Spring, told Women’s Wear Daily.
The app does have social-network functionalities—you can share with friends or to networks—but Tisch told WWD that it puts commerce ahead of user-to-user social communication (unlike Facebook and Instagram).
Spring raised $7.5 million in June in a Series A round of funding and has a 3,750-square-foot office housing 32 employees in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.