Your iPhone and iPad are the new mall: App Store adds Shopping category

Apple's App Store for iPhone and iPad is adding a new category—Shopping! It's no secret that there's been an explosion in online shopping and iOS has driven a lot of that growth. Thanks to an incredibly rich ecosystem and empowering technologies like Apple Pay, there's no better way to compare prices, check reviews, and grab deals when on the go than iPhone, and no better place to sit back, browse, share, and check out than on iPad. And that's probably why Apple is moving shopping apps out of Lifestyle and into a category all their own.

Back in the day we'd have to jump in the car, go to the mall, and hope the stores and items we wanted were there. Now apps make it possible to shop anywhere, for anything, at any time. With the Shopping category, retailers, developers, and customers will all benefit from the greater discoverability and serendipity that comes with a dedicated section in the App Store.

Along with the Shopping category going live, some of the apps in the new section will doing something a little special to help promote and celebrate the introduction.

  • Everlane - download now (opens in new tab) - Order with the Everlane app by 11/12 and receive a complimentary product.
  • Ebates - download now (opens in new tab) - Shop with the Ebates app and get extra cash back at 100+ stores including LivingSocial, HSN, Walmart, UGG, Saks, Banana Republic, Overstock, Lancome, Avon, Ralph Lauren, and Shoe Buy.
  • GILT - download now (opens in new tab) - Use the GILT app this week to get early access to top sales from Marc by Marc, Oliver Peoples, J Brand, and more.
  • Zappos - download now (opens in new tab) - Place an order with the Zappos app and get access to exclusive products from UGG, Frye, North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, UA, TOMS, Nike, Converse, and Sam Edelman, and get free 1-day shipping.
  • Nordstrom - download now (opens in new tab) - Spend $100 with the Nordstrom app and get a free gift.
  • MikMak - download now (opens in new tab) - Every day through November 12 the MikMak app will feature awesome office "minimercials" along with special promotions including deals and free shipping.
  • Groupon - download now (opens in new tab) - The Groupon app will be offering up to 75% off select beauty and apparel products, linked via in-app message.
  • Harry's - download now (opens in new tab) - Buy something with the Harry's app and get a free 40z bottle of after-shave moisturizer.
  • Cartwheel by Target - download now (opens in new tab) - 50% off a new toy each day, 20% off women's apparel through 11/7, 40% off Thanksgiving side dishes through 11/12 when using the Cartwheel by Target app.
  • REI - download now (opens in new tab) - Use the REI app and get $20 off your oder of $100 or more through November 12.
  • Walgreens - download now (opens in new tab) - Use the Wallgreens app and get 30% off all photo orders through the end of November.
  • Wondermall - download now (opens in new tab) - Use the Wondermall app and earn 1-5 WonderPoints for every dollar spent in the mall, then use those points to get anything from the mall for free.

The App Store's new shopping category is rolling out now. If you have any favorite shopping apps for iPhone or iPad, let us know which ones!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I remember working for Internet Service Providers back in 1998. One of the thoughts back then was to "redefine" the mall and make it all online (while taking a cut). That idea didn't go anywhere because people just weren't interested. Fast forward to today and I'm still skeptical. Sure, I can buy things on my iPad or iPhone but I don't think it replaces the mall, as evidenced by the number of people still going there.
  • I agree, especially when it comes to clothing. A large shirt made in Malaysia is a totally different size than one made in Vietnam. Seeing as America doesn't make clothes any more, I have to go to the store and try everything on, and it's a mix between L, XL, and even XXL.
  • Wow, I wish Google would add a shopping category. Oh, they did? You don't say...5 years ago, huh? But it's not iShopping! Sent from the iMore App
  • And just like a real mall, 99% of it doesn't interest me. Sent from the iMore App
  • Now how about removing the hoards of fake spam applications in the role playing section already. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I already had a shopping folder on my iPhone haha Sent from the iMore App