Wish is a well-funded mobile commerce platform in Europe and North America.

As it is aimed at the deal-mad shopper, it makes a great case study for persuasion in mobile ecommerce.

Let's take a look at some elements of the user experience (which isn't one for the faint-hearted).

1. 'Pay after delivery'

An interesting payment option indeed! The terms and conditions say I can select this option and I don't have to pay for 14 days (interest free).

Klarna (a Swedish payment company) pays the retailer in question and then the shopper owes Klarna. There are three delayed payment fees (each up to £8) if the customer fails to pay on time.

There may be some who see this credit as irresponsible, especially given the relatively low value of some of the products, but it's certainly a good tactic to increase sales.

Those who are without their payment card or who are in a rush (many of the deals on site are timed) may prefer to select this option.

pay after delivery 

2. Instant offers to incentivise add-to-bag

As you can see below, product pages on the Wish app sometimes show a time-sensitive instant offer.

The offer is one of a mystery lower price, which can be 'unlocked' simply by tapping 'Buy' and adding the item to your bag.

The second screenshot shows that the new price is £8 instead of £9 (not to be sniffed at) and this new price expires in one hour.

All designed to urge the customer to buy now rather than later.

instant offer  instant offer

3. Abandoned checkout notifications

Notifications have become commonplace in most apps, including ecommerce.

One of the oft-heard complaints about the app ecosystem is the way that on install, apps immediately ask for permission to send notifications and then compete for your attention.

This leads to an OS clogged up with meaningless messages, de-sensitising the user who may look to another proxy OS, such as Facebook Messenger, which is trialling brand communications.

Wish aggressively sends cart abandonment notifications (amongst many others) and also uses a red dot on the burger menu icon within the app, to inform the user that a notification awaits.

Often these notifications are relatively impersonal deals incentives and announcements. 

As Wish offers time-sensitive deals, it will no doubt argue these notifications are warranted.

notifications 

4. Gamification

The Deal Dash is a daily period of extra discounts which is activated by tapping to spin a wheel (below).

Your spin will determine the number of minutes the deals are available for, cueing a mad dash (browse) from the user.

This feature encourages habit and I have to admit it made me scroll and browse products that bit quicker, looking for something right for me.

deal dash  daily dash

Once the Deal Dash timer hits zero, anything you have added to the cart will be available at the discounted price for a further 30 minutes.

If you haven't got timer fatigue by now, you're a stronger man/woman than I.

daily dash 

5. Checkout now for 'cashback'

Yet another time-sensitive incentive now - this time within the checkout itself.

If the user checks out within the 10-minute period on the timer, they get 5% of the value of their order back in the form of a giftcard.

With all these time-sensitive offers, it would be interesting to know if there are rules for how they are offered - do they always apply to certain products? Or are they offered only to new users? etc. etc.

checkout incentive

6. Wait a minute! Have another discount.

Just when you thought Wish couldn't have any greater designs on your wallet and your attention, it serves an interstitial when you try to abandon the checkout.

As you can see below, another 5% off is offered if I will only be a darling and checkout.

It would be interesting to know whether customers know about this and try to game the system.

wait! 

7. Countdown timers

An oldie but a goodie. Countdown timers are more often seen in email marketing, where marketers can make use of dynamic content to advertise deals.

However, in the world of discount ecommerce, countdown timers are an everpresent. Here, Wish always includes at least two at the top of every category page.

These deals are particularly time sensitive, products only available at that price for one hour.

timers

8. 'Only [n] left!'

Another classic UX feature that creates the impression of scarcity. Only 13 left!

number remaining

9. Size and colour selection after the Buy button

The app wants you to buy, and has removed hurdles and added incentives to coax you into doing so.

To that end, Wish makes sure the user has to click 'Buy' before selecting size or colour of an item (see below the pop-ups that occur when tapping Buy).

This way, the cognitive process of deciding to buy ('yes, I want that') happens earlier in the journey, without size and colour selection tiring the user or putting them off in those crucial milliseconds when they have decided to make a purchase.

It's a very subtle feature but one that I feel is particularly powerful.

The only downside is when a size isn't available, which may disappoint (and disillusion) the user - though it must be said that Wish has useful filters which can be used to specify a size etc.

buy button  colour selection

10. Recently viewed products shown in search

I love this feature. Recently viewed products are often shown on websites at the bottom of product pages and it's not a feature that regularly entices me.

However, in the Wish app, 'recently viewed' lives in the search functionality, reminding you of what you may have wanted to buy.

search  

11. Rewards

Buy more stuff, get more points, earn more discounts, buy more stuff. A virtuous circle and a technique used for a long time indeed.

rewards  rewards

12. No product titles

At first, I was annoyed by the lack of product titles on category pages.

But then I realised that Wish wants to encourage browsing and discovery - I'm not looking for a particular product, rather it's a shopping experience.

The filters help to narrow down my options, but then I need to click into products to see what they're all about and this (I'll admit it) only served to pique my interest further.

Dropping product titles probably isn't right for conventional ecommerce, but here it adds to the frenzy.

Further reading:

Ben Davis

Published 24 May, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)

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Dean Signori, web designer / seo consultant at UK Web Geekz

the cart abandonment feature jesus now I know why I get pestered for things I was going to buy one time - still this along with the other little hard sell features is probably a good thing for the sellers pockets

over 1 year ago

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Presley Emebradu, entrepreneur at sabibay

i went through your post and it is very insightful. please i will like to know the app wish.com uses that tells that ''100k+ bought this''

7 months ago

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