eCommerce apps take inspiration from Tinder

The widespread popularity of Tinder, has meant that its functionality and design is ingrained into the minds of many consumers. The dating App operates in a seamless fashion. Users simply have to swipe right to confirm their interest in a profile or left if they want to pass. The simple swipe-yes-or-no design has been widely adopted by mobile apps across a range of eCommerce industries.

So what’s right about this approach and should you develop a similar app for your brand?


What’s great about it?


One of the key reasons Tinder style eCommerce apps are becoming so effective, is because they let shoppers replicate on mobile how they would behave in store. When you shop in a store you flick quickly between clothes on the rack until you find the item you want. The swiping action on the Tinder-style app, reminds the user of this experience.


Another great things about a Tinder style eCommerce app, is the fact that it tends to display only one item at a time, as opposed to traditional eCommerce mobile apps, that will display rows of 3 or 4 products, at one time. This can work in your sites favour massively, as the user will only focus on one item at a time, allowing you to showcase your products in a way that will guarantee they get more attention from potential customers. It is much easier this way to make your individual products stand out.

Add a well optimised check-out to the easy swiping mechanics of Tinder-style apps and you have  conversion rates that are often five times those of regular mobile eCommerce sites.


For the one or two minutes a person spends in the queue for Starbucks or waiting for a tube, these apps are great. They allow the user to view products up close and in detail, but equally they have the means to keep swiping past the items that they don’t like, placing them firmly in control.


The drawbacks


Some however, feel that Tinder-style apps for eCommerce are a terrible idea. The whole point of Tinder is that you swipe right to indicate you like someone and then if they do the same you get a match. It is both fun and flattering. This is not the case on an eCommerce app. A product can’t “like” you back. A product cannot talk to you. Some argue that without the key ingredient of the users ability to get a match, these apps are less appealing and need to offer additional utilities aside from just the ability to display products. Retailers are urged to go for an approach not too dissimilar from the  ASOS app. With its clean, sensible layout and exceptional navigation, it really has raised the bar in terms of how eCommerce apps should look. Even better, its search tools provide excellent filters that allow users to search for products based on exact size, colour and brand. Shoppers can also watch catwalk videos within the app, allowing them to see clothes up close.


Generally speaking, customers still don’t tend to buy on apps, rather they do so on desktop, indeed convincing people to make purchases on mobile rather than on a desktop screen is just too difficult for the majority of eCommerce site owners, so again this is another draw back of designing an app. Having said that, the apps are a great way for customers to browse products and garments online and research them in greater detail. It is intended that after doing their initial research, customers will then decide to buy on desktop at a later date.


Tinder-style eCommerce apps are a great way of showcasing your products. Although they might not lead to sales straight off the bat, they offer the user the chance to research your products in closer detail so that they can make a decision to purchase them on desktop at a later date. Using a layout that borrows from a well known and frequently used app like Tinder, means that consumers will not be bamboozled by the mechanics and overall functionality of your offering. These apps could benefit from better filters, so users could explore the products in more detail, but having said that they are still useful tools for increasing your brand awareness and overall sales.