Wanelo, the social shopping platform, aims to be everyone’s personalized central network for the digital mall.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In her discussion on “The Most Important Platform for Retail,” Deena Varshavskaya who founded the shopping platform in 2012, spoke of her thesis for the site, which stands for “Want, Need, Love.”
Given that different industries are no longer fragmented — résumés are now on LinkedIn and clipped images are now on Pinterest — Varshavskaya’s thesis is that “everything we do is being united into a specialized network.”
She also noted the reason why e-commerce doesn’t work on Facebook: “We don’t go there to shop.”
In creating Wanelo, she hoped to solve shopping’s set of unknowns when entering a store: product availability, sizes in the store’s inventory, color options and whether it’s on sale. Varshavskaya said there are 350,000 stores on Wanelo’s platform, and every single user has her own profile with all of her shopping preferences.
There are 2.8 million followers and 15 million products on Wanelo. “The average product has 140 saves and 19 buy clicks….There are 10 repins per image on Pinterest,” she said. The founder and chief executive officer also disclosed that 90 percent of users are female, and 90 percent of users are from the U.S. In addition, 90 percent of the site’s traffic is from a mobile device and 50 percent of users are between ages 18 and 22.
Retailers should try to get all of their products uploaded onto the Wanelo platform because “if it’s not there, it can’t be saved and it cannot be viewed,” she advised.
To help users, as well as solve the question of when does something go on sale, the site saves trigger alerts when there are sales promotions for that particular item, she noted. Further, to make shopping easier, some retailers are adding the “Wanelo Save” button to their e-commerce sites so users can save something they like directly to their universal wish list.
According to Varshavskaya, “Our users are coming to Wanelo from word of mouth.” She noted that retailers can be proactive about building their following and promoting Wanelo. One example is Nordstrom, which has Wanelo trending products on TV screens in more than 100 physical store locations.
Saved products from the individual shopping sites have to be bought from each site directly. Varshavskaya said the ability to buy from Wanelo — one that she called an “opportunity” — isn’t yet an option for users.