Today, shopping is installing itself as a growing activity during our spare time. It is commonly linked to window shopping in malls, but more and more we observe this behavior through e-commerce.

Wish, created in 2011 by Peter Szulczewski and Danny Zhang, (respectively ex-Google and Yahoo employees) is now one of the biggest actors of online shopping, competing directly with big companies such as Amazon or AliExpress. Their motto: make your shopping smarter, fun, and rewarding. The Wish app is now valorized to 10 milliards dollars. It’s the first app downloaded in more than 40 countries and gathering more than 300 million daily users.

Sources: Wish on (


Wish’s model is simple: it is all based on being an intermediary between big retailers that are producing a lot and users with a low income. This allows to avoid stock management and to offer the lowest prices on the market.


Wish did a great job by targeting young buyers with low income. Therefore, the priority is the price and the eccentricity of the product more than its quality. The catalog is well-furnished: clothes, accessories, high-tech products, toys, crazy gadgets, kitchen tools… You can find a lot of fun and not useful stuff.


How can you explain that the same product you have for 20€ on Amazon is only 3€ on Wish? They are multiple answers: long shipping delays, low shipping rates, origins of the article. Most of them are copies of the real products and are coming from China, Laos, and even Kirgizstan.

Negative point: they are many scams, and often the customers are receiving surprises:

Source: Instagram #Wishappfails

This could sound like a grave negative point, but as the prices are low, users often don’t ask for refunds. Moreover, this fails are quite fun and push people to risk ordering: and this is one of the ways Wish makes shopping more like a game than a need.


The personalization of the user’s experience is important, to the point that the limits of the user’s privacy are fuzzy. First, you must log in to see the products, through your Facebook or Google account. As soon as you are connected, Wish’s algorithms offer you products depending on your gender, age, and the more you scroll, the more you click, the more the company understands your “wishes”.


Wish has many tools to persuade you to buy and have fun.

  • Design choices

–          There is no price filter on the Wish App. One game is scrolling till you find the cheapest price, as they are different costs for the same products.

–          The decision path of the customer is switched: you click the “Buy” CTA before you choose the size and the item’s color.

–          In case the customer doubts about buying something, he can create “Wish Lists” on the app. In addition, recently viewed items are shown at the bottom of product pages.

  • Instant offers and count downers

While scrolling through the app, you can see that some products are time-sensitive. Similarly, when you are visiting a product page, you can see a countdown to an offer for a lower price, which can be applied by clicking on the “Buy” CTA. The product in your basket is then at a lower price, but this offer expires in one hour. It pushes the customer to buy quicker.

  • Abandoned checkout notifications

If you quit the app with products in your basket, Wish sends you a notification and uses a red dot on the burger menu icon.

  • Gamification

Every time you connect to the app, you have different games you can play to win additional discounts. For example, if you visited the app more than 10 times in the week, you can win a 10% discount, no matter the amount you will spend. Another example is the deal dash. By spinning a wheel, you will determine the amount of time the deal you won is valid. This leads to an intensive browse from the user.

  • Checkout discounts 

If you pass your order and pay for it within 10 to 15 minutes, you can get up to 6% of your total back as a gift card. You can also get another 5% discount if you try to quit the app before passing the order. Some users know about that and tend to do it on purpose.

This reward system is engaging the customer into a virtuous circle. The more you buy, the more you get points or earn discounts, the more you are up to buy other stuff.


Therefore, Wish transformed shopping into gaming. Customers tend to scroll through the app while they have time to spare: public transports, lunch breaks, in the bed before sleeping… Most of the time they don’t have a specific idea of what they are looking for. Buying on Wish is now a trend. The “Wishers” build their community through Facebook groups such as Wish Fails or Wish addicts, thousands of YouTube Hauls are published, Twitter new hashtags have been created such as #Wishshopping

What about you, will make your shopping fun? 

Read more:

« Amazon ou Wish ? Deux tendances structurelles du e-commerce » Cyril Du Plessis,

« Wish. Com, le bazar du Web qui valait 3 milliards de dollars » Elisa Braun, Le

« La folie “Wish”: un million de colis en attente »

« Qui est derrière Wish, la foire-fouille du web où on trouve tout et n’importe quoi ?», Julien Rebucci, les

« Un achat en ligne sur cinq est réalisé sur mobile», Keren Lentschner, Le