What’s all the “hype” about?

If I had to place wanelo within Gartner’s hype cycle, I would have to place them in the “Peak of inflated expectations”.

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Primarily because there has been a dramatic increase in users within the past few years and the number local boutiques and well-known brands have jumped on the online retailing bandwagon. Despite this increase in users, retailers, and a variety of international markets, it is becoming more difficult for the site to make themselves stand out among other retailer sites. Wanelo has already passed the initial “technology trigger” stage since they were the first ones to provide a platform where local retailers and popular brands could utilize it to increase sales online. Also, the site did not use any traditional forms of marketing until they hit ten million registered users on the site. Their proof of concept revolved around the idea that consumers could purchase unique items they could easily find during a mall-shopping experience and could potentially become competitors against major brick and mortar stores. Not many other e-commerce sites have mimicked their exact strategy and position in terms of distributing clothing, accessories, and home decor items seamlessly. Currently, they are in the “Peak of inflated” Expectations” stage since they are being promoted through retailers who are using their platform to sell their clothing and accessories. Local boutiques have a sustainable competitive advantage in utilizing the site since they can update a customer on sales promotions going on through the store and maybe create an incentive for a rewards program for loyal customers. For now, wanelo has been able to attract more retailers because of this advantage but will have to create more incentives for retailers signing up with them. Despite the advertising potential, they create for retailers, they still have to compete with numerous other retailers that are on the app and have to create more awareness for customers to notice them. Therefore, they would still in the second stage of the hype cycle. There are some issues arising in terms of adjusting their distribution strategy with the increased number of retailers that utilize the site.

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Wanelos’ design and the format is an inspiration from Pinterest’s “pinning” format to Instagram’s “discovery” section. Although, as I mentioned earlier, Wanelo’s original mission was to encompass the mall-shopping experience onto a mobile app. Clicking on one of the items gives you a quick snapshot of the price, brand name, shipping information, and the reviews section. It is mainly a mobile-driven app, considering the rise of mobile users for online shopping, and does seem to be a little busy. Nonetheless, the IA (Information Architecture) of the app is seamlessly simple and does not take users much time to find out the functionality of the app. Everything is organized by what the users would like to see. As seen below, users can view items to their choose by choosing the following categories below: New arrivals, On sale, Reviews, Women, Men, and Home. Similar to Instagram, wanelo is known for its unique “discovery feed” on their app. Users can click on the magnifying glass and can automatically start swiping right or left on items they would “wish” to keep on their wish list. Therefore, the apps’ UI (User Interface) works quite well overall. There is still room for improvement in terms of the grid style layout that wanelo is utilizing on both their website and the app. The website (shown above) is not as cluttered to the users’ eyes and can easily be organized by what the user is viewing. Following brand name items and local boutique stores are actually quite simple as well. During the profile creation process, wanelo gives you numerous options on what brands are available by displaying clothing items available in that store and gives you the option to follow that store automatically. Based on the shopper’s taste of clothing the app tries to offer brands and clothing options it thinks you might like. Despite the criticism of wanelo’s oddly similar appearance to Pinterest and Instagram’s feed, the format works for them and it is still experimenting new ways for the consumers to interact with the app and stay on it for as long as possible. In 2015, the average user on wanelo was spending at least fifty minutes shopping on the app.  In order to increase or maintain the time spent on the app/site, they will have to consider whether or not the current “features” they have are worth keeping or may need to be changed. Personally, I enjoyed going through their “discovery” section but would have liked the option to swipe on items that were just shoes or clothing.

 

Audience Analysis

The target audience for Wanelo is mainly young women from their teens to women in their late twenties. Ninety percent of wanelo users are women and the remaining ten percent are men. Most of their target audience resides in the United States and some international markets in Europe and Asia. Since the social media site is more towards fashion and home decor, it is more popular with women. Although, in order to compete they have a separate section for men and are slightly growing their target audience in terms of gender. Wanelo is quite unique since they did not use any traditional methods of advertising and limited social media advertising in the very beginning. Although, it is beginning to decline in terms of usage and would need to start collaborating with their numerous retailers and providing incentives for marketers to display and sell their products through the app.

 

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Source: expandedramblings.com

 

Wanelo wants to attract young women who feel their sense of style does not just fit into one category but others as well. Wanelo is able to provide that desire of being able to fit into other certain kinds of clothing for women who may want to play around with their current style. The users of the app are able to go through a variety of different store brands and local boutiques that would have been unaware to the users if it was not for this app’s platform. A typical persona of someone that uses wanelo would be a young woman who has stable purchasing power and wants go be able to go through multiple different styles of clothing and different stores and wants to experience something new in her everyday shopping experience. The CEO of the company wanted to be able to encapsulate a typical shopping mall or outlet into a mobile-friendly shopping experience. The firm has been able to utilize their relationships with local boutiques and well-known brands for many different users that could potentially use the app to reach out to their loyal customers. There may be a chance where a store could reinforce their loyalty onto the consumer.

Guest Post

Periscope’s live streaming service has made its way into the business marketing world with great impact due to its new and trendy approach – one that was fairly unlike any other form of social media marketing in existence at the time of its launch. Periscope’s technology has created advancements in the social media world and opened yet another window into our personal lives, but this time a window into our personal lives right in the moment, or live. Businesses see live streaming as an opportunity to build more personal relationships with their customers by providing them with insight on the nits and grits of the company which results in greater customer satisfaction and trust toward the business that customers put their money toward. Wanelo essentially is an online shopping mall that pulls products from hundreds of thousands of companies ranging from large brands to independent sellers which mean they have several customers to service. Other than being able to be reached and promoting their products through the basic business social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, Wanelo should consider incorporating live streaming as the business deals with the fashion marketing world. Fashion weeks are major events and trends are constantly changing. When selecting products for the company or even trying to understand customer style preferences, Wanelo can use Periscope to reach out to their customers in determining what products to invest in for their company, whether that be through a Q&A directly with customers, or surveying customers on recent trends they are into. If Wanelo draws any of its inspiration from fashion shows, it can use Periscope to live stream the event and accumulate the reactions of their customers to try and further understand their preferences and wants. Producing these results can help strengthen not only the company’s current customer base, but it can earn more customers based on the demand of the products Wanelo is bringing in. The marketing adjustment incorporating live streaming into shopping can help bring Wanelo up more on the fashion marketing radar and produce a greater demand for the service. It will be an advancement much of the industry has yet to see, and perhaps if successful, bigger brands will adapt this method as well.

– Naziba Haque

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The Fancy: Fancier than imagined

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Source: Google Images

 

The Fancy is another possible competitor to Wanelo and is also very similar to Pinterest’s design set up. Users can also pin items for things they design. This goes from clothes to meals, to sporting goods, and a lot more. The only difference is that The Fancy is able to get companies and retailers to target coupons and sales promotions to users who frequently visit their page and pin things from them. The Huffington post mentioned it, “The idea, which has been described as “Groupon in reverse,” allows merchants to be more proactive in gaining customer interest and sales. How does it work? When users have pinned, err, “Fancy’d” something, retailers and brands can then provide custom deals and sales directly to the user, and potentially make more sales.” Another major factor that separates both social media apps is its target market/demographic. While Pinterest and Wanelo mainly consist of women that use the site, sixty percent of men frequently visit and use “The Fancy”. Users on The Fancy can join live chat sessions and can browse through numerous categories of products as they like. Since Wanelo is more towards fashion and home decor items, they would have to reconsider how they would want to target a male audience. Wanelo has always had a separate section for Men’s clothing and accessories but there is not a high percentage of usage or even recognition about the social media app. The Fancy already has some brand recognition thanks to celebrity endorsements from rappers Kanye & P.Diddy. Only certain home decor items can be found on its website that you may not be able to find on other e-commerce sites such as Amazon. The U.S.-shaped library case could only be found The Fancy as well as certain celebrity endorsed products on the site. In order for Wanelo to survive, they would have to start expanding their categories of products. Wanelo could slowly start to expand their category of products and their current demographic. The Fancy also operates in thirty-three countries and has over 10 million registered users on the site. Wanelo users are mainly from the U.S., Canada, India, and Japan. Most of these users are only familiar with the brand because they found out through word of mouth. Brand recognition and awareness must be improved and developed before the social media site can actually expand their product category or improve their international market sales.

Pinterest: The original DIY & Fashion treasure site

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Source: Google Images

 

Pinterest is a well-established app that was recognized for its immense variety in fashion, home decor,  and other DIY project selections. Pinterest could easily dismantle Wanelo’s core structure of the app just by adding a “buy” or “browse” section for the variety of clothing items that retailers currently post as well as fashion bloggers. The “idea” sharing site has over a 100 million active users and could easily steal wanelo’s current market share. The only issue is that Pinterest’s focus will have to go from sharing “ideas” to letting users purchase the things they pin from retailers. The demographic for Pinterest users are mainly older women. Wanelo currently caters to the female/male millennial market and will have to expand their current target market to older men and women. Expanding the current market may be difficult since many Pinterest users have adapted to the ease and user-friendliness of the site. The clothing and other fashion-related items do not necessarily appeal to men and women that are 30+ on Wanelo. Wanelo does try to fit more clothing options based on your age when you create your profile but is still struggling to fit in a wider variety of items for an older audience. Primarily because of the infinite of local stores that Wanelo provides are selling their products aimed at Millenials and not necessarily at the 30+-year-old working woman. If Wanelo is able to provide more retailers that could cater to the 30+ demographic then there is a chance for Wanelo to survive against this social media site giant. The biggest advantage that Wanelo has is its ability to advertise for multiple retailers on its app and offer promotions based on a user’s preference of retailers and past purchases. Local and online retailers receive more brand awareness thanks to the apps’ browsing feature for users. Since users are able to follow multiple brands and keep up with the current promotions going on at that moment it helps mold and strengthen relationships between the users of the app, the retailers, and the creators of the app. Pinterest may have an issue of replicating this same system.