Starting an online marketplace seems to be a very apt decision today. The choice to select a niche for a product is really tremendous when you can sell something starting from 1-dollar trifles to brand products that cost thousands of dollars.

However, among the variety of the large cruisers that go in these waters (like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba etc.) there is a boat that has been smartly maneuvering between them in the recent years. This boat’s name is, and it has been onwards and upwards at a blistering pace.

It has been stated that about 30% of holiday spending for the last two years falls to the share of mobile e-commerce. In spite of this, some online wholesalers and retailers are still under miscomprehension that mobile devices could only serve for building interest or price checking, but not for actual purchases.

Of course, that’s not true, and Wish clearly demonstrated it. Today mobile commerce optimization is not a whim but a must if you want to stay relevant. That’s why many people wonder how to create a marketplace app. Let’s see how “founding fathers” of Wish found an answer to this question.

Read also: Mobile App for Your E-Commerce Business

Wish shopping website was founded by Peter Szulczewski and Danny Zhang – the former Google employees, who started their company ContextLogic, which further evolved into Wish. They were experts in online advertising, and they turned on the heat to create a next-generation mobile ad network which would provide keen and tough competition to Google AdSense. At this, the guys staked on two things: advertising and mobile platform. Later it appeared that this was a great combination for success.

Wish started as an application that offered people to create their own wish lists. The company contacted merchants and informed them about a certain number of potential clients that wanted to purchase this or that thing. Szulczewski’s website only connects buyers and sellers, while not allowing them to contact each other directly.

Now the most part of sellers at Wish are from China and other Asian countries, however, sellers of other nations can also list their items on the platform.

What distinct this site from the others and what comprises its popularity?

What helped them stand out were significant discounts they offered, which sometimes seemed unbelievable. This allowed Wish to become a noticeable player and develop to be a famous online shopping app where one can buy anything starting from a pen to MacBook.

Apart from discounts and focus on mobile coverage, the creators of Wish know how to attract the impulsive (actually, an average) customer with the look, assortment and disposition of goods. A couple of minutes of using the site will prove you that. It’s quite absorbing, isn’t it? The stuff looks so nice and so cheap that you, almost charmed, easily basket another item.

Another wise step was to concentrate on multiple platforms simultaneously (iOS and Android). Developers not only created apps for various platforms, but also built six various applications for the app Wish! Here are they:

1. The most visited website with a wide assortment of products like cosmetics, clothes, gadgets, bags etc.

2. Geek Wish is specialized on electronics and hi-tech devices.

3. Mama shopping gives more options to young mothers in the selection of goods for babies.

4. Cute Wish focuses on beauty products, accessories etc.

5. Home Décor application is the place where one can find tons of home accessories.

6. Wish for merchants – an app, tailored specifically for the sellers (by the way, neither eBay or Amazon provide such option).

In order to make certain that each user can find exactly what they need, Wish uses a number of personalized filters, which are built on the base of the questionnaire you’re supposed to fill in at the registration. However, whichever category you choose, you will always see some extra-category items that you didn’t even mention. That’s another advertising Szulczewski’s trick, and why not using it if it works? As long as it doesn’t become too annoying, right?

“We want to be Google AdWords for the retailer”, said Peter.

Read also: How to Estimate Budget for Mobile App Marketing?

The strategies that invested into Wish’s success:

• Offering really large discounts;

• Customizing and personalizing of goods’ categories in several apps;

• Displaying goods in a right way, thus targeting impulsive buyers (the same methods supermarkets apply);

• Concentrating on mobile platforms;

• Connecting buyers and sellers without permission for them to directly communicate with each other;

• Placing their stake upon gazillions of unknown, but productive Asian providers;

• Balancing between satisfying quality and low prices.

In spite of the fact that wish online shop currently has more than 350K of 1-, 2- and 3-star reviews in Google Play (which are mostly associated with their long terms of delivery), its average mark is 4.5, as compared to Amazon’s 4.3. However, this amount of unsatisfied clients is a bit surprising, since the platform allows buying items 50-80% cheaper than one could pay at the local malls.

Yeah, what really seems to be annoying to the customers is a time of delivery. The users often wait for 2 to 3 weeks, and this is what causes many complaints. Well, when buying at such low prices, you need to be ready to a trade-off…

In spite of this, the founder of is very optimistic. “We think we’re going to be the second or third trillion-dollar-a-year marketplace”, Peter Szulczewski said with a certain conviction. Many people are amazed by such assuredness, while others are curious whether such prognosis may even prove true. We will wait and see, and in the meantime, if we wonder how to build an online marketplace, we can adopt some principles from Szulczewski and its brainchild.

What can we learn from Wish and its policy?

1. It’s worth to stay honest and transparent at every step of the purchase, including checkup

2. It’s a great idea to create customized clone apps for various types of goods (if you have enough of them, of course).

3. A strong loyalty system and good customer support are strong fastening means for both customers and sellers.

4. It is worth working on the delivery system if you don’t want to lose customers.

5. Self-confidence and optimism really matter!

Having considered the strong and weak points of Wish, we’ve drawn up the list of basic functions your e-commerce marketplace should have when you will have your own business like this.

Features and peculiarities of your Wish app like product of yours:

• Customers are able to view and purchase a great number of unique products, offered from around the globe;

• Creation of wish lists;

• A handy searching tool;

• Flash deals and discounts system;

• Creation of personalized feeds with the products selected for particular user’s demands;

• Balanced customer support system;

• Possibility to check status of one’s orders;

• Receiving key push notifications;

• Attractive design and smooth user experience;

• Transparent terms of delivery;

• A desire to constantly improve your service!

Read also: How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?

The theory is dry, and the personal experience is precious. So, if you are looking for ways to create online marketplace software, we are here to help. Contact us today and together we will find ways for you to start conquering new peaks on the market!

How to Create an Online Marketplace Like Wish?
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