We can’t deny how great our love of shopping online is, but there are still so many things that annoy us about shopping on sites like ASOS. Why do so many clothes not fit, despite being our supposed ‘size’? Why do we have to spend hours sifting through pages and pages of ugly dresses to find that perfect one? And why can I not afford every single thing I want?
Well, these issues are being solved by various brands looking to change and improve the way we shop online, making the experience quicker and easier than ever before. It makes us wonder whether there’ll even be any physical shops in 50 years’ time!
1) Best for the impulse buyers: Mallzee
Like a Tinder for clothes, Mallzee, pictured above, lets you swipe left and right to clothes you love and hate. The app will then start recommending you clothes based on what you like and dislike, and will allow you to buy the clothes you do like with just the click of a button. There’s also a completely shoppable fashion features section, and it also syncs with WhatsApp, so you can get your friends’ second opinion before you buy it, and, best of all, the app notifies you when items you love have gone on sale. Basically, an impulse buyer’s absolute nightmare/dream depending on how you look at things!
Download Mallzee for free from the App Store.
2) Best for those with clothes envy: findSimilar by Cortexica
Ever have that moment where you’re stalking some girl you vaguely know on Facebook, see she’s wearing the most amazing outfit but don’t know her enough to ask her where it’s from? Cortexica has fixed this issue, having made findSimilar, a way of just saving that picture and using it to find that exact outfit or something similar, and then buy it immediately.
Basically a Shazam for clothes, it stretches to as far as the shape of shoes, meaning, even if you can’t get that random girl’s one-of-a-kind vintage dress anywhere other than her body, you could maybe find a similar one in Primark (maybe). findSimilar has been incorporated into websites like ShopStyle, Macy’s and Grabble, and can also be used via the app, StyleThief, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
3) Best for making sure your clothes actually fit: Metail
Probably the main issue with shopping online is how nothing actually fits us the way it fits the stick thin models in the pictures, and we always end up sending nearly everything back. It turns out we actually have a bum and boobs, who knew? Metail is trying to fix this by allowing users to create MeModels, using your exact measurements, so you can see what the clothes would look like on you while you’re browsing through. It also lets you change the skin tone and hair colour of your virtual you, so you can see whether the colour would suit you or not too.
While it’s not available in any of the main culprits of making us return clothes (we’re looking at you ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo), in a world first, Metail is working alongside British brand House of Holland to, not only let you watch the Spring Summer 2015 fashion show live from wherever you are, but also create your own MeModel and try on the clothes straight from the catwalk in real time. You can also pre-order the collection too, and you’ll know it’s definitely the right size for you, as long as you know your height, weight, and hip, waist and bust measurements.
The show, part of LFW Spring Summer 2015 collections, goes live on Saturday 13th September 13th at 6.30pm and can be watched here.
4) Best for brides-to-be: Wedding Dress Studio
If you’re getting married, there’s a good chance you’ll be dreading the fact that you have to choose just one gorgeous dress from millions of options. I mean, you’ve already chosen your one man out of billions, you don’t need to make another choice!
Well, Wedding Dress Studio means you don’t actually have to step foot into a shop or confronted with a pushy saleswoman at all. The iPad app allows brides-to-be to try on up to 300 different wedding gowns without leaving your bed.
All you have to do is upload a full-body shot to the Wedding Dress Studio app, and adjust your shoulder and hip points. You can then choose from various silhouettes, necklines, fabrics, colours and embellishments, and see what the dress looks like on your body, save it and buy it.
Wedding Dress Studio is free to download from the App Store.
5) Best for the Pinterest-obsessed: Wanelo
Wanelo is basically Pinterest where you can buy all of the things. The app lists more than 12 million products from roughly 300,000 stores worldwide. You can post images of products you’re interested in, and save items others have posted, creating wish lists that you can buy there and then. Each item also has a counter telling you how many times an item has been saved, so that’s basically a sign that other people like it and you should probably press the giant green ‘buy’ button.
Wanelo is available from the App Store for free.
6) Best for those in a rush: Iconeme
Created by Universal Display, Iconeme is an app that allows you to buy clothes online straight from the mannequins in shops. So, you could be just passing House of Fraser, currently testing the beacon-enabled mannequins, and will be alerted to a beacon 50 meters away, which will then allow you to search for the clothes and accessories on the models, as well as price details, so you can save your favourite items and purchase them from the House of Fraser website when you’ve got a bit more time.
While it’s great for those just passing stores with no time to have a browse, it’s also really helpful for finding clothes that aren’t in your size in store, as it can tell you where the next nearest branch is too. The app and mannequin technology also has a social aspect to it, encouraging users to share favourite items via social media. Like Wanelo, you can also see who else has shared and liked the same products, so it’s like getting a second opinion on whether you should buy it or not.
As well as House of Fraser, Iconeme has been used by retailers like Lord & Taylor and Levi’s as well as by shirt retailer Hawes & Curtis and department store Bentalls.
You can download Iconeme for free from the App Store and Google Play.
Want to read more? Here’s our coverage of the recent Apple announcements, including everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’, the iPhone 6 Plus, and smartwatches buying guide, or if you’re sick of Apple completely, here’s our rundown of our 14 favourite dating apps, from Tinder to eHarmony.