What You Need to Know About Wanelo
It’s time to review your social media strategy checklist again, because you may want to add up-and-comer Wanelo to it.
Even if you’ve never heard of this social network, there’s a high probability that the teenagers in your life are already members. The site has more than 8 million registered users, approximately 70 percent of whom are active on a monthly basis. (That’s up from just 1 million in November, a pretty astonishing growth rate.) Wanelo users spend an average of 50 minutes on the site daily.
Wanelo’s clever name is a mashup of three words that provide a pretty big clue about its mission: Want. Need. Love. The online community lets members share photos and information about products on their shopping wish lists or that they’ve already purchased. Think Pinterest, but with a focus on curated shopping. Right now, approximately 6 million products are listed on the site.
“You can buy almost everything you see on Wanelo, and everything is posted by members,” the site’s creators declare on its FAQ page.
Wanelo members can use the site to create a personalized "collection" of products that interest them or to follow stores and view the collections of others. Store pages are created when someone posts a product they saw or bought from that merchant. (At this writing, the top one was UrbanOutfitters.com with 1.6 million followers.)
Some 200,000 stores are involved on the site, even though the startup’s team has done very little — so far — to create a structured program for retailers and retail brands. That’s about to change. It has already developed Web site code to help retailers optimize their product pages for Wanelo, and the team is actively seeking input about programs and features retailers would like to see on the site.
With that in mind, here are several things you need to know about Wanelo.
- It’s especially big with teenagers. In April 2012, Piper Jaffray published its latest "Taking Stock With Teens" research into the social networks popular with 13- to 19-year-olds. Fewer of them chose Facebook as their most important gathering place, and the top write-in was Wanelo. Wanelo also ranked fifth among popular online shopping destinations.
- It’s big with the mobile set. Wanelo offers free applications for the Android and iOS platforms. The iOS version consistently ranks in the App Store’s Top 50 list for lifestyle apps, rivaling Amazon in terms of popularity and outpacing downloads for Walmart.
- Participation is free for vendors big and small. It’s easy to create a store page on Wanelo. If someone has already posted products from your cybershelves, you can “claim” the items and start to customize how things are organized. If no one has posted anything, you can get started by uploading some products. You will be identified as the store owner or manager. Sellers from e-commerce marketplace sites, such as Etsy and eBay, may create an individual store page on Wanelo and use it to drive interest and transactions.
Heather Clancy is passionate about solving small business problems.