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The Top Mobile Apps Gen Z & Millennials in WE Are Using to Shop

Young consumers in Europe are shopping on their phones more than ever. Here are the apps they say they’re using the most…


While stores are starting to open back up across the world, young consumers’ habits have become firmly rooted in online shopping. Our recent Western Europe Shopping & Retail report, the majority of 13-39-year-old European consumers tell us they prefer to shop online over a physical store. 

More than that, though, online shopping has moved from the desktop to the pocket. The majority of European Gen Z and Millennials use their smartphones to shop, and nearly nine in 10 are regularly shopping via a website, mobile app, social media, or livestream—far out-numbering the 54% who say they’re regularly shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Meanwhile, nearly 100% of respondents who tell us they prefer to shop online report regularly shopping via a website, app, social media, or livestream, making one thing clear: mobile is the future of retail. 

With this in mind, we wanted to know exactly where young European consumers are doing their mobile shopping. In our most recent shopping behavioral report, we asked 13-39-year-olds, “Which mobile shopping apps do you use?” Here are their top 15 responses: 

The Mobile Shopping Apps They’re Using

Among 13-39-year-olds

  1. Amazon
  2. Shein
  3. Zalando
  4. Asos
  5. Zara
  6. AliExpress
  7. Wish
  8. eBay
  9. H&M
  10. Nike
  11. Pretty Little Thing
  12. Bershka
  13. Vinted
  14. Boohoo
  15. Joom

It’s no surprise that Amazon tops this list; the retail giant has been a young consumer favorite for years now. More notable is the runner-up: Shein. YPulse has been tracking the meteoric rise of the Chinese online-only retailer, which has fast become a go-to for young shoppers around the globe, winning over Gen Z shoppers with affordable fits that are constantly evolving to follow fashion trends. YPulse’s latest fashion and style research found that Shein is one of U.S. young consumers’ top 3 favorite places to buy clothing. And in March of this year, Shein did the almost-unthinkable: it overtook Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app globally. The last year of digital shopping acceleration has undoubtedly helped the popularity boom. And while $5 crop tops and $15 dresses are certainly a huge draw for young shoppers, one of the main reasons they keep coming back to Shein is the online retailer’s (incredibly fast) ability to keep up with today’s fashion trends—and shopping trends. Shein’s product pages are constantly updating to reflect young peoples’ favorite styles, and the Chinese apparel company leverages China’s well-developed garment manufacturing and efficient logistics system in order to ship to customers worldwide at a low cost. The retailer is also constantly adding new features to its website and app, including videos on product pages, sorting features for flash sales, and clothing categories organized by fashion trends. These features are responsible for Shein’s ability to stay relevant with young consumers who are looking for affordable and trendy apparel. 

Zalando has also had a swift ride to the top of young European consumers’ shopping list, and is a very close third behind Shein on the list of mobile apps they’re using to shop. Established in Berlin in 2008, the online-only fashion retailer was a cult favorite in Germany (and later Austria and Switzerland) for its wide selection of always-on-trend clothing, accessories and beauty products. Now it’s ​​Europe’s biggest fashion e-retailer, seeing revenue grow 30% in 2020 thanks to the lockdown-fueled push to online shopping. Now the retailer is aiming to capture more than 10% of the €450 billion European fashion market, a feat it plans to accomplish by continuing to focus on the growing demand for streamlined mobile shopping experiences. 

YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full WE shopping and retail behavioral report and data here.

Don’t have a YPulse Western Europe Business account? Find out more here.