Mobile Shopping and Social App Dote Is Aiming to Be ‘Gen Z’s Dream Mall’


As Generation Z grows to be retail’s largest group of consumers with an estimated $44 billion in buying power, businesses are rethinking their strategies to appeal towards a group of digital natives who value seamless shopping experiences, authenticity and transparency. Their idea of shopping isn’t simply going to the mall or flipping through a Delia’s or Alloy catalog as was the case with previous generations. Instead, it’s watching shopping hauls on YouTube, scrolling through a brand’s Instagram page and looking to their favorite influencers for outfit inspiration — straight from their smartphones.

Mobile shopping and social app Dote is keeping up with these habits and aiming to be “Gen Z’s Dream Mall.” “From our perspective, we see these retailers who haven’t fully identified or caught up with that shift,” says founder and CEO Lauren Farleigh. “They really are trying to use old marketing techniques for this new generation, but not authentically engaging these social creators and their Gen Z followers.”

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After launching Dote in 2014, Farleigh — who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, studied at Dartmouth and kickstarted her tech career in mobile gaming in San Francisco — has raised up to $10.6 million in funding and garnered Gwyneth Paltrow as a mentor and an advisor while appearing on the show “Planet of the Apps.” As mobile shopping rises within the e-commerce space — potentially reaching $284 billion, or 45 percent of the total U.S. e-commerce market, by 2020 — Dote is already ahead of the game.



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