How Request Works to Rebuild Customer Relationships

Just two years ago, online novelty retailer Wish was the darling of the e-commerce category.

The online dollar store brand rose to unicorn status in 2020 with $1 billion in revenue. It was sold at $24 per share and was reaching a higher stratosphere in the business world thanks to the low cost items available on the market.

But the IPO was a turning point for the brand — shares aren’t just worth 69 cents.

In the most recent quarterly earnings for the platform operated by ContextLogic, the company reported $134 million in revenue, an 80% year-over-year decline. Core market revenue was down 86% year-over-year to $54 million. According to Business of Apps, Wish’s monthly active users fell from 90 million in 2021 to 27 million this year.

Behind Wish’s fall from grace was its failure in two key categories: poor product standards and an unpredictable shipping model. Many consumers complain about the quality of the product; In addition, products often arrive much later than the expected delivery time.

Now, the brand is trying to restore its relationship with consumers amid a rebranding with a new logo and an updated app. “There have been a lot of changes on the product side and we’ve improved the consumer experience a lot,” Wish chief product and customer officer Tarun Jain told Adweek.

Letting the genie out of the bottle

To improve the customer experience, Wish tried to consider both delivery time and product quality. Jain said that the brand works in the logistics supply chain and clearly discloses when the products will reach the point of purchase. The brand’s on-time rate is now north of 95%. Wish did not provide Adweek with any figures on how much it had at the same time last year.

He also touched on the quality of the products sold on the Wish platform. Implemented the Desired Standards program, an initiative that offered incentives for quality sellers. Merchants who sell on the site can be featured in the app, earn commission discounts and faster payment terms if they have positive customer reviews and deliver goods on time.

The brand has released two ads over the past few months. “Get Lost in a Store” sees a potential consumer browsing Wish’s platform on their phone. She is magically transported to a metaverse-like world where she tries on different outfits and discovers some items in a store.

Another ad, “Get Ready for Real Laughs,” is a slightly creepy clip of a consumer struggling to smile because he’s unhappy with the gifts he’s received. The wish portal finally delivers a wand that puts a genuine smile on his face.

Jain said the brand has gone fun and crazy with its latest ads. Martín Rossetti, Wish’s chief creative officer, said that much of Wish’s previous ad work had been product and price-based, and that the subject of the ad was a way to show more personality while centralizing the brand’s application.

Both ads build on the brand’s focus on discovery on its platform. Earlier this year, Wish launched Wish Clips, a shoppable feature that lets merchants create short videos to showcase how products look or are used.

Jain said that on Wish, users prefer discovery over search. According to data Wish shared with Adweek, more than 70% of sales on its platform do not involve a search query and instead come from individual browsing.

Despite the bells and whistles, Wish still focuses on discounts.

“We are a platform that values ​​products at lower prices,” Jain said. “With everything going on in the macro economy, we have a good moment to connect with our customers and offer them the products they want to buy at a better price.”

On a shaky ground

Despite increased advertising, Wish is still struggling to stand out in a shrinking e-commerce market.

Although his internal problems are difficult, there are external factors as well. According to Salesforce’s Shopping Index, digital sales experienced a 3% year-over-year decline in June, the first in the tracker’s nine-year history.

“The cost of doing a digital commerce business has increased in recent times, and along with changing consumer behaviors, this has impacted the growth aspirations of many digital commerce brands, including Wish,” said Ant Duffin, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Digital commerce operating costs continue to grow for brands in terms of talent, marketing and last-mile fulfillment, all of which impact operating margins. In addition, consumers feel the impact of inflation, which affects non-core expenses that will affect core income.

Senior management is also a concern. CEO Vijay Talwar left in August after just seven months on the job. Joe Yan, an operating partner at venture capital firm GGV Capital, has since served as interim CEO.

Talwar replaced Wish founder Piotr Szulczewski in January. He was slated to lead the company’s entire product overhaul, and his departure from a mid-rebrand role should raise concerns for the future of the e-commerce outfit.

Despite the brand refresh and recent marketing efforts, Wish’s turnaround can only happen if the brand continues to improve the consumer experience and the items users buy.

“The worst thing you can do is great marketing for a bad product,” says Jain. “The main focus for us was that our product should live up to the expectations we promised.”

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