Types of Mobile Fashion Shopping Marketplaces


In 2019, mobile e-commerce is on the wave. The trend of selling and buying via smartphones has picked up an impressive pace and is not about to slow down. Last year, according to Adobe Analytics, 54% of customers did their Cyber Monday shopping via a smartphone. 40% of shoppers purchased gifts via mobile apps as well.

What does this mean for the fashion industry? According to Statista, fashion e-commerce is growing at impressive rates – 8.8% in the US, 8.7% in the UK, and (absolute leadership by investments) 14.1% in China. Knowing how to create a shopping app is important for business owners, looking at such an impressive pace of fashion e-commerce development. What are the types of mobile fashion marketplace? Let’s take a look at the most popular ones.

5 main types of mobile fashion marketplace

If you’re looking forward to developing a fashion marketplace, it’s helpful to have examples to refer to. Take a look at common types of mobile fashion marketplaces. There are a few examples to back up every model – all for your inspiration.

1. E-commerce aggregators

An e-commerce aggregator is a big marketplace where a shopper can browse thousands of items from different brands. It gives a possibility to compare clothing items, offer a broader choice, and help shoppers find the fit easier thanks to a system of filters.

Most aggregators work by the following algorithm:

  • Data gathering from different fashion stores;
  • Grouping all the items into categories;
  • Selling clothes online.

The owners of e-commerce aggregators profit mostly from advertising on the website. This revenue is limited; however, on the positive side, you don’t have to spend money on actually buying or storing clothes.

Can you check out via an aggregator? Most of the time, the answer would be “no”. While these aggregators are capable of gathering thousands of items, you’ll still have to proceed with a transaction on the brand’s website.

Examples of mobile fashion aggregators:

  • Stylight – an aggregator that collects offers from over 120 stores.
  • Net-a-porter – a big fashion aggregator that offers deals from world’s most trusted labels – Gucci, Chloe, etc.
  • The Iconic – an Australian aggregator that gathers affordable deals from local and international brands.

2. Affiliates

Shoppers use different tools to find fashion inspiration. The astonishing success of Pinterest as a platform inspires many fashion shoppers and proves that there’s always room for a platform that’ll share fashion tips as well as interesting sets.

Affiliate fashion marketplace is a trendy model these days. Without directly selling anything, a business owner can still profit from sharing affiliate links from brands’ websites. You don’t have to set up a check-out system or a payment gateway, nor to handle orders.

Here are the possible monetization models for affiliate fashion marketplaces:

  • Profit from link-placing;
  • In-app advertising;
  • Cost-per-click advertising payment model.

Examples of mobile fashion affiliate websites:

  • Men’s fashion 2019 – an affiliated app that shares clothes reviews, buyer’s guides, etc.
  • Teen Outfit Ideas – the app shares outfit ideas for teenagers with affiliate links.

3. Handmade and crafts platforms

Creating handmade clothes is another popular trend in the fashion industry. Creating a marketplace for handmade clothes and accessories is an amazing idea. For one thing, local creators might allow you to take a solid commission for sharing their offers via your website. Also, while most app creators will be joining famous affiliate programs and offer a similar range of items, you’ll offer shoppers a unique set of clothes and accessories to surprise shoppers with.

Possible monetization models:

  • Charge a fee per listing;
  • Get commission from each sale;
  • Profit from advertising on the website.

Examples of mobile handmade fashion marketplaces:

  • Etsy – the most famous marketplace that sells handmade clothes as well.
  • Dawanda – another marketplace that offers handmade fashion items for a perfect gift.
  • Yealie- the app that allows local fashion designers to sell their creations.

4. Subscription boxes

Subscription service refers to a possibility to order a box of small fashion items for a bulk price. Platforms like Cratejoy have already proved that subscription box marketplaces can be a success.

However, there aren’t as many platforms to offer fashion subscription boxes. You can create a marketplace that will gather subscription box offers from fashion brands.

Examples of successful fashion subscription box apps:

  • LeTote offers $69/month subscription boxes with stylish clothes;
  • Stitch Fix – the app lets you choose 5 clothing items and get them in a $20 subscription box.
  • Frank and Oak offers clothes and jewelry subscription boxes.

5. Universal shopping cart

The problem with most fashion aggregators is that when users go to the brand page, they don’t finish their checkout process. Having a user redirected from the website to a different one makes it harder and messier.

The universal shopping cart model for mobile fashion marketplaces fixes this issue. It might take a little longer to build such an app with a universal shopping cart since you’d have to set up payment gateways, find a way to store data, etc. But it’s worth it.

Example of universal shopping cart: Lyst has started as a typical fashion aggregator that only gathers deals from different brands. Chris Morton, the founder of the service, noticed that a lot of deals get abandoned when users are redirected to the brand’s website. That’s why he came up with a universal shopping cart system which decreased bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment drastically.


In a nutshell, developing a mobile fashion marketplace is worth doing – it’s proved by a huge demand for fashion e-commerce and the boom of mobile technology. There are different types of marketplaces to consider – all have their advantages. You can research the web to see how each of these models works. Out of 5 marketplace models listed above, each can be a winning decision – the final choice is up to you.


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