After reading this post you are going to be an ‘expert’ on the online shopping app, Wanelo. Keep reading to learn more about the “digital mall.”
WHAT IS WANELO and HOW DID IT START?
Wanelo is an online shopping mall. Founded by Deena Varshavskaya in 2012 and she created it because she felt she had an individual and unique style that could not be found in most malls. Growing frustrated with her shopping woes she decided to build an “online mall” in which users can shop countless styles and stores all in one place. It is based in San Francisco, CA. Pronounced ‘wah-nee-loh’ derived from the phrase, “want, need, love.” Wanelo is a digital shopping mall in which users can buy things on the internet. The Wanelo website describes it as, “a mall on your phone,” in which the user will be exposed to over 550,000 stores ranging from giant, well-known brands to small boutiques. Wanelo is also a way for the user to search and follow favorite brands or stores all in one place. According to Forbes, it is an app that rivals Pinterest because of its, “strong visual components and similar demographics.” However, Forbes then goes on to claim that it is, “better poised for online shoppers because of its convenient wishlist and product management tools.” Others have claimed it could be in the interest of Pinterest to buy Wanelo. It is a good app for brands (even individuals who sell off Etsy) because they can use Wanelo to sell their products.
Now you know what Wanelo is, you are probably wondering, WHAT DOES IT DO and HOW DOES IT WORK?
Wanelo is easy to use. Simply download the app and start shopping! An individual can sign up for Wanelo and post products, save products and buy products. It is similar to all other social media accounts in that you have followers as well as people and brands/stores that you follow. On Wanelo users can “save” items, which is the equivalent to liking or pinning items on Pinterest. Users can also search things on Wanelo by using hashtags such as “#handbags,” or “#shoes.” A user can purchase items directly from Wanelo. The app is divided into five main sections: products, search, post, news, and for you.
However, for the brand it is a little more complicated. First, the store must install the Wanelo Sales Channel, which places the store on a waitlist. While under review, Wanelo will synch to the brand’s Shopify site to automatically import products onto the Wanelo Store Page. If the store is approved, then the store will be notified and items will be made available for direct purchase in Wanelo’s Marketplace. Items that are purchased will be sent to the Shopify account to be fulfilled. Payments will go straight into the banking account as soon as they are confirmed for shipping. Wanelo is free but does charge a 15% commission on all orders placed. In addition, Wanelo replaces the fee of Shopify with a 2.9% processing fee on all orders placed.
What is Shopify on Wanelo? It was created purely for Shopify customers to help them sell and get discovered. All the user has to do is download the Wanelo Shopify app in the Shopify app store and Wanelo will sync the store’s products to the Wanelo store page. After approval, the store is enabled for “Buy on Wanelo,” and finally once the orders are placed they will be sent to the store’s orders dashboard, ready to be filled. Businesses have claimed that downloading this app has led to a steady 20% increase in sales. This is great news for independent brands! Before, only a select few large brands offered direct purchasing off of Wanelo; but with Shopify it allows all brands who download the app direct selling and purchasing. In addition, Wanelo also offers a save button for brands, which has led to a 100%-300% increase in revenue. As earlier described (from the user point of view!) the “save” button allows users to save items they like and then go back to the item at a later date when ready to buy.
What is WANELO’S target audience and how is it growing?
According to Forbes, growth for Wanelo launched in 2013. Wanelo had about 6 million users and 70% of them (or about 4 million) were users active monthly. Mobile was a large contributor to the growth in 2013 in which Wanelo was the number 1 app on iOS ahead of eBay and Amazon. Currently, Wanelo has about 11 million users and over 550,000 stores and 30 million products. 90% of users are females with the other 10% being male and 90% of users are USA residents.
Integration with other social channels and is it Mobile Friendly?
Wanelo integrates with Facebook and Twitter. The user can “find friends” based on their contacts through Facebook and Twitter. For the brands, Wanelo connects with Shopify which allows direct purchasing for all brands (even small, independent ones!) Wanelo is very mobile friendly. In fact, 90% of Wanelo users access the app through mobile phone.
What brands are using WANELO?
Almost every major shopping brand is available/using Wanelo. Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, and J. Crew, to name a few. I have inserted these images about all the stores from the Wanelo site below.
How are brands (small and large) SUCCEEDING on WANELO?
Large brands such as Nordstrom have a strong following on Wanelo of 1.5mil, and Nike 866,000. However, these numbers still pale in comparison to even just their Instagram followings with Nordtrom at 2.3 mil on Instagram and Nike at 6.1 mil. Wanelo is a valuable asset to these brands in that it helps increase revenue simply by creating yet another place where individuals can buy their products.
However, where Wanelo has made the biggest difference in revenue and brand awareness is for the smaller brands. For example, Amazing Lace is an up and coming online apparel shop selling contemporary and trendy clothing to its customers. It has developed a following of 434K (the most of any of its other social media platforms!) on Wanelo. Ceo, Chrissy Chandler states,
“Immediately, I saw how much power the Wanelo platform had with fashion trends and forecasting. It was a direct path and insight into our customers’ wish lists. I saw it as a peek into the closets of our market. The best part was that it was real time. What might take weeks or months of marketing on other social outlets, Wanelo was doing in 48 hours. This was critical for our business, allowing us to take advantage of seasonal trends.”
Similarly, The Rage is another smaller brand that has made its presence known on Wanelo. It is a women’s boutique that offers affordable fashion and global shipping. The Rage has also built its largest social media following (374K followers)using Wanelo.
Ceo, Laci Bonner explains,
“I believe our success is due to the growing presence of Wanelo’s fans alone. Because of their popularity and our placement/ranking in the Stores Category for women, many people follow us based on our credibility alone. When you see that someone has a lot of fans, you want to know why that is. The credibility that we have built through Wanelo has been one that’s been hard for us to recreate elsewhere. Our numbers literally jumped by 50% the first year we had a presence on Wanelo. The second year it increased by 30% and has remained consistent. We also have an app in the iTunes store for iOS users. In our blasts, we add links to all of our social media accounts, including Wanelo, because of our large presence. Anywhere that we can promote places to find us, we do.”
In closing, Wanelo truly has created a “digital mall.” It offers so many different brand options all in one place. Moreover, Wanelo is a great app for brands to sell their products. It is especially fantastic for smaller brands trying to build and expand their business. As Chrissy Chandler explains, Wanelo allows the brand to get immediate feedback on what items the customers like within the product line. Furthermore, Wanelo’s integration with Shopify became a game-changer for the independent brands. It is an app that is only continuing to grow and certainly one to check into.
Thanks for reading! I hope you understand Wanelo a little more now and are tempted to try it our for yourself!
Wanting to learn a little more about which brands use Wanelo and how it has increased their sales?! Click this link to check out my Prezi. (Also make sure to not click on “use new prezi mode” or else my visual aids will not show up.) Enjoy!
 “Wanelo.” Feb. 2017.
 DeMers, Jayson. “7 Social Media Platforms That Could Explode Before 2016.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/08/13/7-social-media-platforms-that-could-explode-before-2016/#7bc00e8341af>.
 Demers, Jayson. “7 Social Media Platforms That Could Explode Before 2016.” 2015.
 Wanelo. “Wanelo Help Center.” Feb 2017.
 Smith, Craig. “10 Amazing Wanelo Statistics.” DMR. N.p., 14 July 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/wanelo-statistics/>.
 Smith, Craig. “10 Amazing Wanelo Statistics.” 14 July 2016
 “How to Increase Sales with the Wanelo Shopify App – Shopify.” Shopify’s Ecommerce Blog – Ecommerce News, Online Store Tips & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <https://www.shopify.com/blog/63642373-how-to-increase-sales-with-the-wanelo-shopify-app>.
 “How to Increase Sales with the Wanelo Shopify App – Shopify.” Shopify’s Ecommerce Blog – Ecommerce News, Online Store Tips & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.