Brands get tech savvy to deliver unique online shopping experiences

From interactive widgets to AR-powered apps, direct-to-consumer brands are using tech to make online shopping more fun.

ManiMe uses 3D modelling to create custom-fit nail stickers


Online shopping is quick and convenient, but it’s hard to find an e-commerce experience that adequately replicates some of the more esoteric aspects of in-person shopping. In other words, scrolling through lists of products isn’t quite the same as spending a relaxing afternoon window shopping.

This is perhaps why, despite being among the world’s most digitally native shoppers, 98% of Gen Zers say they still like to shop in brick-and-mortar stores.

The pandemic has, of course, made in-person shopping trips difficult in the past year. Fortunately, a number of digital-first brands have been experimenting with their tech offerings, finding new ways to help shoppers try on their products or stream tutorials in the comfort of their own homes.

At the end of January, hair dye brand Bleach London launched The Bleach Line and Bleach TV, two platforms that feature interactive consultations and video tutorials. Meanwhile, hair extensions brand Ruka held a launch party on Instagram live, and its website features a virtual showroom where shoppers can watch short videos covering the history of the black hair industry, and learn more about Ruka's products.

These are just two examples of brands leveling up their online shopping experiences through creative tech. Below, we highlight 14 we found particularly inspired.

What is Thingtesting?

Thingtesting is a database of internet-born brands. We’re building the un-sponsored corner of the internet where consumers can come together to talk honestly about new things. Read more about Thingtesting here.

Create a free account so you can make your own lists, whether that’s because you love them or because you want to try them.

Feedback? Yes, please.