Monday July 7, 2014
Are your fingers sore? Do you guys have blisters? Seriously, we were blown away by all your Wanelo button saving. Not only did we get a tsunami of saves, but you guys managed to hunt almost all of the hundreds of stores that have the button. Well done.
But only a few can be winners so (drumroll please) here are the winners of the Where’s Wanelo contest! We’ve emailed all of the winners listed below, so if you see your username but haven’t seen the email, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Congrats and thanks everyone for playing along.
Monday July 7, 2014
Helloooo! Hope your summer is off to an epic start if you’re in the northern hemisphere! It’s all rainbows and sunsets over here. And feature-building. Mmmm.
Huge things in this update. Those filters that we added to search results are now on store pages! What does this mean?! This means, for example, that if you’re a guy who only wants to see guys’ things as you browse stores, you can do that! This changes everything.
You can also search across the stores you follow again (one word: filters). And product pages now highlight the person who saved it and their collection. Cool collections everywhere!
What else? Well, there’s a new cat floating around your gifts collection. Meet Kyo the Bowtie Cat, submitted by @cupcakepaws in a little contest we held on Instagram. She also makes and sells bowties for cats! (@cupcakepaws, not Kyo.) Find them all on Wanelo.
We also added Spanish and Italian versions of the app! And some surprising things we’ll let you find out for yourself.
Tell us what you think! —> email@example.com. And please feel free to make our week with more awesome and hilarious reviews.
Now go have a beautiful day.
Tuesday June 24, 2014
There’s not a lot of spare real estate on an ecommerce product page, and retailers have to be smart with what they have. From size charts to customer reviews, retailers are squeezing value from every bit of space.
So when every pixel is precious, they have to question what additions will actually make a difference.
Today, over 100 retailers are using their own websites to vote for Wanelo as the social network for shopping.
From Topshop, to lululemon, to Crate and Barrel, stores are adding the Wanelo Save Button alongside social heavyweights such as Twitter and Facebook. They’re adding Wanelo Save Buttons because it is driving as many - if not more - sales than these other social networks.
But why Wanelo? How is a community that has only been around for a fraction of the time of these social titans driving more revenue?
It comes down to one thing. Literally. A singular purpose.
Companies have tried to awkwardly force commerce into social media for some time, most recently with Twitter and Amazon’s collaboration, but it’s just not what users are there for. Shopping is a social activity, but no one wants a sales pitch in the middle of their Facebook timeline, nor would they be primed to receive that pitch even if they did. These social platforms might give branding value, but they’re coming up short when it comes to cold hard cash.
The future of social lies in single purpose networks - Instagram for images, Linkedin for jobs, Facebook for friends, and now Wanelo for shopping.
More and more consumers are moving online, and innovative brands, who understand this changing landscape, are the ones below who are early adopters of Wanelo.
Many of their successes was just covered in today’s WWD (see full text below). These range from Nordstrom displaying Wanelo trending products on video walls in over 100 of their stores to how Urban Outfitters sees conversion rates from Wanelo be at least four times higher than any other social network.
When it comes to the future of retail and the role social plays in it, what matters is being where your customers are and not forcing them to come to you. That means putting your resources behind a single focus platform for shopping. And in our latest infographic below, you’ll see there are brands who are growing huge followings and recognizing Wanelo as the most important social network for shopping.
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Nordstrom Taps Tech, Brings Wanelo In-store
June 24, 2014
By RACHEL STRUGATZ
The line between brick-and-mortar and digital retailing is becoming more seamless by the day.
Buzzy social shopping site Wanelo is stepping into the physical world with the help of Nordstrom, which is rolling out wall displays to 107 stores featuring styles that it already carries, but are rated most popular by Wanelo’s users. For the Seattle-based chain, which garnered one million followers on Wanelo in just five months, it’s a chance to tap into the that dramatic growth.
“People are just ready for an experience that is fully focused on shopping,” said Wanelo founder Deena Varshavskaya. “They have been frustrated with not being able to shop on Pinterest or Instagram.”
Since Wanelo — short for Want, Need, Love — officially launched in 2011, more than 11 million users and 300,000 stores have uploaded 12 million products, which have been saved 2 billion times. The company was self-funded for two years before receiving outside investments and, to date, has raised $14 million from firms such as Floodgate, First Round Capital, Red Swan, Ooga Labs and Forerunner Ventures. There are currently 35 employees working out of the start-up’s San Francisco headquarters.
Users can follow stores, friends and influencers — saving items to their profile pages to purchase or organize their shopping.
Users can only post items from verified retailer sites. And once a brand claims its page, it can editorialize collections to engage with fans. Primarily accessed via its mobile app, users can also visit and log onto Wanelo on a desktop.
Nordstrom has 1.2 million highly engaged Wanelo followers who have uploaded more than 200,000 products to the brand’s page. All told, the products have been saved 30 million times, with an average of 343 average saves per item. For Nordstrom, more products are being saved on Wanelo than on Pinterest.
Now, the most-saved products among Nordstrom followers will populate the retailer’s “What’s Trending on Wanelo” displays, which are currently rolling out to the chain’s BP, or Brass Plum, juniors’ department. A TV screen in the department will scroll through about 100 products popular on Wanelo.
“The way that we’re creating these video experiences is by looking at that trending data,” said Bryan Galipeau, Nordstrom’s social media director. “It’s a purely customer-driven strategy. We take a snapshot of that trending category once every week, and we will then match that up against our inventory and what’s available in those stores so we’re providing a good customer experience.”
Galipeau said that the store started seeing heavy traffic coming to its site from Wanelo in the middle of last year — but that much of the insight for the project came from a group of 3,000 teens who make up the retailer’s BP Fashion Board and are avid Wanelo users.
“If you look at that — the merchandise and products that customers are saving really align well with that BP department,” Galipeau said. “We aren’t forcing that. That’s a great connection for us between the BP Fashion Board and the traffic that we’re seeing [from Wanelo].”
Brands such as Urban Outfitters, Sephora and Lululemon are quickly developing followings on the product-centric Wanelo. The majority of content is user-generated — although it’s up to the brands to determine if and how involved they want to get in terms of interacting with the Wanelo community.
For instance, Urban Outfitters has 2.7 million followers — the most on the platform — with 80,000 products that have been posted and saved more than 43 million times. (Saving on Wanelo is analogous to “pinning” on Pinterest.) Urban Outfitters has more followers on Wanelo than any other social network, with its Facebook following approaching two million, Instagram at almost 1.5 million, Twitter at 875,000 and Pinterest at 150,000. The retailer has installed a Wanelo save button on the product pages of its e-commerce site, resulting in a 40 percent increase in product saves and a 20 percent spike in Wanelo-generated sales for the company.
Steve Hartman, Urban Outfitters’ managing director of direct and marketing, said Wanelo has a conversion rate at least four times higher than any other social network. It’s also quickly climbed into the top 10 sources of traffic forurbanoutfitters.com, along with Google search.
Farfetch digital marketing manager Rachel Waller said Wanelo users are converting at a rate five times that of Pinterest. (The online marketplace has 195,000 followers and 182,000 products posted to its Wanelo page.)
Varshavskaya, who founded Wanelo when she was 31, credits the app’s rapid consumer adoption to its singular focus on shopping.
For her, the reason Twitter and Facebook haven’t seen success with commerce is that they weren’t designed to be shopping platforms. When users go to Wanelo, they expect only to see accurate information on product availability and pricing.
“Imagine going to Amazon or Urban Outfitters’ [Web site] and starting to see photos of recipes and landscapes side by side with products,” Varshavskaya said. “That would create a really confusing shopping experience.”
The app is also part of the growing Webrooming trend — where people browse and preview online before coming into a store.
Bridget Dolan, Sephora’s vice president of digital, said: “Our clients are shopping and visiting us from mobile phones in such a rapid, crazy rate that anything that is mobile-centric is popping for us. Instagram is on fire, but Wanelo is the most mobile-centric social media platform that we have.”
Sephora found that 95 percent of the traffic it gets from Wanelo goes to its mobile site. Dolan called the channel a traffic generator for mobile that not only speaks to a consumer shopping on her phone, but one who is “pre-shopping” and creating lists of what she wants to buy.
She said Sephora became active on the platform when it hit a critical mass, with about 400,000 followers. Now, the brand, with 582,000 fans and 23,000 products saved to its page, is spending more time creating collections on Wanelo and views the platform as an up-and-coming tool in terms of traffic and sales.
“It’s 100 percent just about product from your site,” Dolan said. “There’s no tips and no looks. That is how Wanelo works. That is the differentiator from other social media.”
Lululemon, which has 673,000 followers, sees an average of 770 product saves per item. According to Carolyn Coles, the brand’s director of digital channels, Wanelo is the third-largest social channel for Lululemon, driving about 6 percent of social referrals to lululemon.com. The brand has already integrated a social button onto its Web site.
“We are paying close attention to the trending page on our Wanelo channel in order to identify sales trends,” Coles said.
That type of attention could lead to more fertile crowd-based merchandising.
Sunday June 1, 2014
Comprehensive Rules & Regulations
Wednesday May 21, 2014
Hey again, it’s another splendid day here in #waneloworld and guess what - we have another awesome new iOS feature to share with you!
Our content editors have been hard at work creating the new featured lists. Just look for ’Featured’ under search for magical lists of awesome stores and users, handpicked just for you (!!!)
Got an idea for a featured list you’d like to see? Why not send us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org? Go ahead, chances are we will probably want to shop it too.
Thursday May 15, 2014
Hello out there! Hope it’s a nice day where you are! It’s bright and beautiful here.
We’ve been busy making Wanelo dangerously powerful. Now you can filter search results by price range and category (!), see when a product’s price has been lowered (!!), and see better search results in general (!!!). It’s gettin’ good, seriously. #comeandgetit
And we’ve been fulfilling your requests — making it easier to save a product you’ve saved to another collection, letting you know when you’ve already saved a product, all that good stuff. Also: check out the all new Featured section under search for handpicked lists of stores and users to follow.
A vortex of goodness is coming. Email us at email@example.com anytime with requests and ideas! We’re good listeners.
( ´∀`)･ω･) ﾟДﾟ)･∀･)￣ｰ￣)´_ゝ`)-_-)=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ
Wednesday May 14, 2014
Sometimes it’s hard even for us to believe that a rag tag team of squishable hugging, cat loving, shopping obsessed dreamers could create a service used by millions every day. So mind-blowing in fact, we had to put it in an infographic just to wrap our heads around it.
It would take, 2,000 malls stacked on top of one another to add up to the number of stores and products available on Wanelo. Even then, there’s no way those products would be as awesome because everything you see on Wanelo is posted by users, so it’s a digital mall powered by the people!
And if that stat wasn’t crazy enough, there’s Wanelo’s engagement. Stores like Urban Outfitters, Asos and Forever 21 have way more followers on Wanelo than they have on social networks they’ve been using for years. But it’s not just the brands seeing engagement, their products are as well. An average Wanelo product receives 140 saves compared to Pinterest’s average 10 repins.
Wanelo is the digital mall of the future, and these ridonkulous stats help illustrate where ecommerce is headed.
Friday May 9, 2014
You’re a designer. And you work well with the CEO.
5 ways that we can all play well with each other.
This post is in response to “You’re a designer. Not the CEO.” by Bradford Shellhammer
I am one of two designers at a little startup called Wanelo. We are a team of 35 people, including about 20 engineers. We also have a PR team, community managers, content editors, one CEO, one CTO and one VP of Product. You get the idea, there are quite a few groups of people who need to work together.
Contempt does not exist on our team. Collaboration does. And passion for the product. Every single person who works here has an opinion—not just about design, but about how it solves our users’ problems. And how we can all work together to make the most useful and engaging shopping app in the universe.
Of course we know that all humans have an appreciation for and understanding of design. The difference is that most humans find it very difficult, almost impossible, to translate that amazing thing in their minds into cold hard reality. Unless you’re Michaelangelo.
A designer has the tools to do this, but even we struggle sometimes. Design needs to be an ongoing conversation, so that together we can turn that hunk of marble into David.
The word politics is loaded. It assumes an adversarial stance. It’s the designer vs engineer, designer vs CEO. This is a flawed perspective. Designers are part of your campaign team (to use a political metaphor), they get your message out to the people.
Here are a few ways in which we can all get along and build awesome things together:
1. Communicate effectively
At Wanelo, we over-communicate.
We have a style guide and visual aesthetic, so the basic building blocks are in place, and the conversation is now about interaction and designing for the user’s journey through the app rather than the color or size of a button.
We have daily standups, lunches together and company-wide retrospectives every other week. These are all great opportunities for different parts of the company to get on the same page about goals, issues and ideas. Anyone can join standup when they have a request for help, or feedback about a specific feature that was built.
We also have hack days every other week, where designers get to work on their own ideas with engineers they might have not have worked with before.
2. Include designers in conversations not just about design
Designers don’t want to be thought of just as support staff or pixel pushers. We want to feel like we have an impact on the product.
At Wanelo we all work very closely together. Literally. I sit back-to-back with engineers, and am very interested in learning how things are built. And they are very enthusiastic about explaining things to me in a way that I can understand. We have demos by engineers on analytics, scaling, or how a specific feature was built.
The product roadmap is shared with the whole company and we are invited to give feedback. And this feedback is actually considered.
3. Don’t have 25-people-in-a-room-with-a-projector design reviews
Any designer who has been to art school understands the trauma that comes with your work being critiqued by a large group of people. School is a learning environment so this form of feedback might be appropriate (though I am strongly opposed to it), but it has no place in a company where we are all adults and can find ways to communicate in less pedantic ways.
We have a product channel in Slack where mockups are posted several times a day, and anyone is free to comment. We create clickable prototypes and walk over to each others’ desks with our phones in hand. This completely eliminates the need for a formal design review where everyone feels obligated to express an opinion.
4. Continuous feedback is oxygen for design
We have a continuous feedback loop at Wanelo. Feedback from team members while a feature is being designed, feedback through App store reviews, feedback from users at in-person user-testing sessions.
Feedback is given several times a day in bite-sized chunks. It doesn’t come down like an avalanche, burying the designer with vastly differing opinions from people who are out of touch with each other and with the product.
Being a designer is hard. We combine a subjective art with the practical realities of creating a product that people will actually use. We bare our souls several times a days with each design decision we make. Therefore it is important that the feedback we receive is constructive and backed by good reason. We are more likely to be open to it when we are not being defensive.
5. Give designers the information and support they need
Designers want to know why. They might not always ask for it, but give them all the data you can about the impact their designs are having on user behavior.
We get daily metrics reports on all our platforms via email, and specific bits of data are shared in Slack when something of note occurs. We A/B test everything because we know that sometimes we don’t have the answers. This makes design so much more about the process of continuous improvement than a silver bullet that has all the answers.
That’s what we all need to do to build amazing things together.
Monday May 5, 2014
Today Twitter announced one of its biggest commerce moves yet, introducing the ability to add products to your Amazon cart with the use of a simple hashtag. They promise that it’s the solution to the problem of having to remember products you saw on your Twitter feed and then having to log into Amazon to buy them.
While there is indeed a problem in social commerce, this isn’t it.
You can’t simply wedge shopping into a social experience. When you do, you’ve suddenly become the equivalent of the friend who invites you over to dinner and then starts to sell you Amway, or the telemarketer who calls in the middle of the meal. Twitter needs revenue, Amazon needs social, but this partnership is unlikely to solve either problem.
We expect a sales pitch when we walk inside a store, but not when we hang out with friends. And furthermore your group of friends aren’t the resource you turn to when it comes to shopping for a new swimsuit.
Twitter is a powerful social network. It has incited revolutions, provoked conversations, and broken important stories. It’s become an social network for news, but not one for products. And the lack of ability to tweet to buy is not what’s holding it back.
The entire internet is becoming social, and that why over the years, we’ve seen a single dominant social platform for every basic human need - Instagram for photo, LinkedIn for jobs, Facebook for friends. And with each new platform, brands have been quick to jump on board in search of ways to leverage them for sales. But what brands are finding out is that while these platforms can be valuable for branding, they don’t have much value in getting users to buy.
There are very specific challenges to retail that require a single purpose platform - e.g. example, product data and product availability - so the real problem in social commerce is that there needs to be a social network dedicated to it. Enter Wanelo.
When users come to Wanelo, they aren’t entering a message board or a chat room - it’s more of a digital mall. It contains all stores and products in one place, so that you don’t have to go to each store individually, but it also injects the social fun that we get from gliding down an escalator with our besties, shopping bags in one hand and an orange julius in the other.
On Wanelo, you won’t find celebrity spats, but we do have Beyonce and Kim Kardashian socks. We can’t give you the latest updates on Miley’s antics, but we do have 2,000 products tagged #twerk. It’s not really the place for Throwback Thursday, but we do have 5,000 vintage stores.
The social elements of trending, hashtags, and followers all have a place in ecommerce, but their place is woven amongst the prime directive of shopping, not (hash)tagged on like a retrofit.
Thursday April 24, 2014
It’s hard for a retailer to cater their brand’s message to everyone. A plus-size shopper doesn’t want to be sold size 0 skinny jeans, and a minimalist decorator isn’t going to be impressed with shabby chic tables. How can you tell people about your products without annoying or alienating parts of your audience?
At Wanelo, we’re organizing shopping around people, and that means only showing users products we know they’ll love. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out how to be mind readers yet, but we’ve learned that a good collection is the next best thing.
We think of following collections from different stores as a way our users can cobble together a customized store from the bits and pieces of lots of stores. A sort of Build Your Own Store buffet, if you will, where you can have BCBG dresses, with a course of BaubleBar accessories, and a little Nordstrom shoes on the side. What you end up with is a delicious feed of products built to taste.
Beyond this BYOS model, collections also help us serve up more relevant content to our users. Your collection tells us “Hey Wanelo, if your user liked that one item in the ‘Going Out Dresses’ collection, they’ll dig these too.” We use this sort of information throughout Wanelo to serve up more of what a user is looking for.
But in order for each user to build their custom store, they need you to provide the pieces. This means segmenting your products into collections that are valuable for users. There are a lot of ways to do this, and it can be as simple as a “Jeans” collection or as creative as “Soft Grunge.”
Here are some of the smart strategies we’ve seen retailers using in their collections that we hope will inspire your own curation.
Tuesday April 22, 2014
Hey Android users! Looks like a lot of you are using the swipe-to-save feature we recently added (fist pump), so we decided to make it even better! Now you can choose which collection you swipe to save to! Tap the Magic icon and try it - it’s weirdly satisfying.
We’re also working to make the Magic feed even more responsive and even more magical. So keep swiping and shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us what you think! Real hardcore amazingness is in the works.
＼＼\ ٩(`(エ)´ )و //／／
Monday April 21, 2014
Hello! Good to see you again!
We have got a ton of great feedback about the Magic feed and the swipe-to-save interface. Sounds like you like it :) So we made it better! And added it to iPad!
Now *you* can make your Wanelo better with every product you save. When you swipe to save from the Magic feed, it’s like you’re talking to Wanelo and Wanelo listens (not in a creepy way). The more you use it, the better it gets! Soon it will get out of hand (in a good way).
What else? Store pages are starting to look more like profiles, as stores get hip to what’s going on here (have you been seeing all those Wanelo buttons out there?) And we’ve made the app faster to open and use. More soon. Email us your thoughts at email@example.com, and please feel free to leave more awesome and hilarious reviews! We love them. Maybe we’ll even get one embroidered.
＼＼\ ٩(`(エ)´ )و //／／
Friday April 11, 2014
Historically, stores on Wanelo have always had two pages:
1. a store page that aggregates all the products from that store, and
2. a store user profile that lets store owners post products and get creative by posting stories and organizing collections.
We know this has been confusing for users to decide which account to follow and also difficult for stores to decide which account to promote.
We’ve loved the creative part, but we’ve hated the confusion.
That’s why, over the next few weeks, store pages on Wanelo will be getting a new look and feel as these two pages are merged together into store accounts. Store accounts give stores a new level of editorial control, and make it easier for stores to connect with fans. You can see an example of a store account here: http://wanelo.com/baublebar
So, what’s different?
Stores are getting a direct URL.
A store’s URL will now be structured as wanelo.com/storename, rather than wanelo.com/store/storename. This makes a Wanelo store easier to find and promote.
Collections will take front and center.
Collections offer stores the ability to curate products in meaningful ways. Right now, a user visiting a store’s page is greeted with a stream of the most recently posted products without any organization. Store accounts put collections right up front, allowing store owners to merchandise their account in the same way they might their own site. The catch is that a store’s page will only be as good as its collections, so we’re encouraging store owners to get active in categorizing their items (the new organize button helps make it a cinch).
When will the changes take place?
Store accounts are being rolled out in phases over the next few weeks.
What if I have questions?
We want to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more new juiciness just for stores, follow us on Twitter at @wanelobusiness or sign up below to get monthly store info sent right to your inbox:
Friday April 11, 2014
It all started with a Store Owners page on our site. We made a destination with all the Wanelo 101 info a store would need to get started, and that was enough.
But as time passed, stores started getting pretty clever with Wanelo. From tapping influencers to hosting contests, they were finding ways to use Wanelo that even we hadn’t thought of and they were sharing some crazy success stories.
These tips and tricks were just too good to keep to ourselves, and we wanted all the stores on Wanelo to be having the same victories.
Our new Wanelo Stores blog will give store owners practical advice on how to optimize their presence, incorporate Wanelo into their site, and leverage new features. We’re kicking it off with a new best practices guide designed to give some actionable tips stores can start using today.
All that seriousness aside though, we don’t love “rules” around here. That’s why we create a product that’s dangerously fun, so take these best practices as suggestions, but do keep blowing our mind with wild new uses of Wanelo!
For daily tips on using Wanelo, or to share your own success story, follow us on Twitter at @WaneloBusiness. To get a monthly wrap-up of all our Wanelo Stores posts, sign up below:
Wednesday April 9, 2014
Hey Philo worshippers and Eames lovers— if staring at a blank piece of paper makes your heart flutter, this one’s for you. We’ve got 15 kick-ass minimalist Wanelo-ites that you’re gonna go nuts for. Stark monochromes? Yes. Scandinavian design? Double Yes. Seriously, these cool cats will make you a minimalist #4lyf. Intrigued?
And even if that blank piece of paper kinda stresses you out, these users will def prove to you that clean and simple is where it’s at. Confused? Check em out anyway. But fair warning: these cats might make you rethink your entire wardrobe situation. And also home decor. And life in general. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…