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CHANNELX WORLD Alan Small of Wish on the mobile-first marketplace’s plans for development

Alan Small, senior business development manager, Europe, at Wish

Ahead of ChannelX World this week, InternetRetailing heard from Alan Small of Wish about the marketplace and its plans for the future. Small, who is senior business development manager for Europe at Wish, is speaking at ChannelX World in London on Thursday October 13. His session, Everything you need to know about the Wish rebrand and new features, is at 2pm.

Register to attend ChannelX World to book your seat at Alan Small’s presentation this Thursday.

InternetRetailing: Tell us about Wish – how does it stand out from the crowd? 

Alan Small, senior business development manager for Europe at Wish: Founded back in 2010, Wish is a global ecommerce marketplace that connects a huge network of over 250k merchants from all around the world, with customers across 61 countries. 

What makes Wish unique is that it’s a mobile-first ecommerce platform. Over 90% of user activity takes place on our mobile app. Our shopping experience is also built on the idea of discovery rather than search. In fact, over 70% of the sales on our platform do not involve a search query and instead come from personalised browsing. This personalised shopping experience is powered by machine learning technology, so the more users that engage with the app, the smarter and more intuitive their product feed gets, so no two interfaces are ever the same. 

We also place an emphasis on video commerce and this, alongside the personalised shopping feed, creates an entertaining shopping experience that really blurs the lines between ecommerce and social media. For example, our Blitz Buy feature, which was one of our first gamified features on the platform launched in 2015, offers users once-a-day sales on a selection of extra discounted products. We’ve also recently introduced a new shoppable video feature to make the consumer experience a lot easier and much more enjoyable. So far, the feedback from our users and merchants has been really positive. 

IR:  What’s the ambition?

AS: Our focus is on unlocking ecommerce for the masses by giving consumers access to a wide selection of affordable goods and providing merchants with access to millions of consumers globally.

By improving the customer experience, we want to serve a demographic of users who have been left behind by traditional ecommerce players and provide a platform that meets the needs of everyone. With the cost-of-living crisis and interest and energy rates continuing to rise, consumers are, understandably, holding back on their discretionary spending. But this is where Wish can play an important role – by providing consumers access to a vast selection of affordable products, through a shopping experience that is truly unique and tailored to their individual needs. 

IR: What’s the plan for getting there? 

AS: To achieve this, we’re focusing on three main areas: improving the customer experience, deepening relationships with merchants and achieving operational excellence.  

As part of this, Wish is currently in the middle of a huge transformation, including an app redesign to offer more thorough information and transparency through the purchasing process, better discounts, deals and new immersive features like shoppable videos, improved service and delivery times, and much more.  We’re already seeing positive results from these changes, including improvements in consumer NPS (Net Promoter Score), significant reductions in customer refund rates thanks to our new Wish Standards, and double-digit YoY improvement in our TTD (Time to Delivery). 

To mark all the changes underway, we’re also rolling out a new brand that better captures where we are today and where we want to be in the future. The rebrand incorporates a new logo, font, iconography, imagery and colour palette. It also includes a refreshed brand voice and tone and a renewed mission – “Bargains Made Fun, Discovery Made Easy.” 

IR: What will be the single biggest challenge to achieving that – and how will you tackle that?

AS: There’s a huge amount of opportunity in ecommerce right now. The main challenge is prioritising which areas to focus on first. We’ve already done a lot to improve our business over the past year or so, such as decreasing the number of countries we ship to, simplifying our rate card and reassessing our non-core business operations. Now it’s a case of balancing that simplification with exploring future trends and identifying new areas we should be incorporating into our business to ensure we continue to grow and better serve the needs of our customer base. 

IR: What are you most looking forward to ChannelX World, beyond your own presentation?

AS: At ChannelX World, we’re really looking forward to meeting new merchants, partners and helping them learn more about Wish. We’ve made a lot of changes over the past year, and we’re very proud and excited to be sharing those changes with our key audiences. 

Over the past few years, we’ve been working hard to diversify our merchant base outside of China and, consequently, we’re seeing a steady growth in the number of merchants signing up to the platform from both the UK and across Europe. We have a dedicated team working closely with our European merchants to ensure they’re getting the most out of the platform. 

Click here to find out more about ChannelX World, where the agenda starts at at 9.15am with a keynote session featuring Amazon marketplace EU director Shauli Ziv, TikTok’s senior director of ecommerce operations Patrick Nommensen, and Murray Lambell, vice president and general manager of eBay UK. It splits into three tracks – growth, insight and operations – before a 4.10pm closing keynote from Tom Flintoff, head of marketplaces, international ecommerce at M&S. Alan Small of Wish will be speaking at 2pm in the operations track. 

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