We are living in the age of digitization. Many things that earlier required you to step out of your house and avail the product or services are now available to you at the click of a button.

This has brought over a completely new phenomenon for shoppers across the globe. Now the whole shopping mall fits into their laptops. They can shop and sip coffee at the same time from the comfort of their cozy beds.

This is possible because of the abundant eCommerce platforms available on the web as well as in the form of mobile apps. With Flag bearers like Flipkart and Amazon, Wish has been doing well in the market.

Cost To Build An App Like Wish

eCommerce And Its Target Audience

The share of eCommerce in global retail has been increasing every year. It is the same old way of buying and selling goods, with a change of channel. ‘E’ in the name of eCommerce is for this medium, the electronic medium.

  • Business-To-Customer(B2C): This we usually understand when we talk of eCommerce. Here customers buy goods from businesses. These are ‘Internet Shops.’
  • Business-To-Business(B2B): This is how the wholesale deals and trading take place online.
  • Customer-To-Customer(C2C): Here, one customer is the buyer, and the other is the seller. I am sure you have leveraged this method of online deals. If you have used platforms like Quikr or OLX to sell or buy some stuff, then I guessed it right.

Parties involved in these methods form the target audience of the eCommerce industry. Any eCommerce marketplace development process should be careful while catering to its target audience.

 The Story Of Wish-The Marketplace App

‘Wish’ was the brainchild of Peter Szulczewski (CEO) and Danny Zhang (CTO) of ContextLogic Inc. It was founded in the year 2010 in San Francisco. It started as a coupon offering service and later bloomed into an online marketplace.

In spite of the presence of giants like Amazon, Wish attracted customers every year.  It has succeeded due to the pricing it offers.

Wish collaborates with both customers and wholesalers on the same platform. At present, Wish has over 100 million customer accounts.  It houses about 100 thousand registered merchant accounts. Today, as many as 40 million items are being sold on the platforms. Customers have a wide variety of options to choose from without a doubt.

The company is different from the lot in the sense that it only acts as a medium to connect the buyer and the merchant. The merchant bears the responsibility of the sale and the delivery. Wish makes sure that the sellers cannot redirect the customers to their platforms.

What acts as a magnet for the customers is the discounted pricing model. Most of the goods bought at 50% to 80% of the original prices are available on the platform. On Wish, it’s always the festive season.

Market Scenario And Consumer Behavior

The market for eCommerce platforms has been flourishing over the last few years. The ease of shopping on the part of the consumers has caused a significant increase.

It is in the share of online purchases done via mobile apps. From 2013 to 2014, there has been a 174% increase in the usage of eCommerce apps globally.

But What Makes The Mobile Apps Preferable Over The Web Apps?

Consumers prefer mobile transactions over offline transactions by 51%.  The figures over desktop ones are by 50%.

According to the Google Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

Out of the total number of purchases made online, 81% are spontaneous. The ease of clicking does it all.

Statistic: Leading shopping apps in the Apple App Store in the United States in March 2019, by number of downloads | Statista

Find more statistics at Statista

The developers must take care of the users’ smooth experience while shopping online. Studies reveal that about 30% of the consumers abandon the transaction. It is due to glitches in the user experience of the app. A delay of 100ms in the loading time can cause you to lose 1 in every 100 consumers.

This ease of shopping using just mobile phones makes eCommerce apps more preferable. Also, 61% of users tend to form a good opinion of the brand if they have a smooth and positive mobile experience. No doubt companies pay their developers good.

How Does The Wish Marketplace App Work?

How Wish Works- by using consumers’ weakness as its strength.

What does this mean❓

As mentioned earlier, 81% of the purchases made online are spontaneous. It indicates that consumers are very likely to buy a product even if they don’t need it. You have to expose your product well. This is the strength of Wish- the impulsive buyer.

When you log in to the Wish app, it does ask you to select the categories you want to buy the items from. Yet, what ends up in the result is not what you asked for, but a wide range of other products as well. They try to show you as many different products as possible. This makes you get tempted to make a buy even when you don’t need to.

While this might be annoying to some of the users of the app, it anyway seems to be garnering funds for the company.

Another critical aspect of its working is the number of apps it has. As you might be aware, these days many apps firms tend to have many apps for themselves.

For instance, Facebook has:

  • Business-To-Customer(B2C): This we usually understand when we talk of eCommerce. Here customers buy goods from businesses. These are ‘Internet Shops.’
  • Business-To-Business(B2B): This is how the wholesale deals and trading take place online.
  • Customer-To-Customer(C2C): Here, one customer is the buyer, and the other is the seller. I am sure you have leveraged this method of online deals. If you have used platforms like Quikr or OLX to sell or buy some stuff, then I guessed it right.

This is an excellent way to ensure a broader reach for an app. Even Wish does not lag behind. It has six apps, out of which, one is the mainstream app and the others are for specific product ranges.

Have a look at the table below:

App Name Goods offered/Target audience
Wish- Shopping Made Fun Mainly everything from all categories
Geek-Smarter Shopping Electronic gadgets and stuff- watches, laptops, mobiles, etc.
Mama-Thoughtful Shopping Maternity clothes, goods for babies and toddlers
Home-Design and Decor Shopping Home accessories for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.
Cute-Beauty Shopping Beauty products, cosmetics, clothes and accessories
Wish for Merchants For retailer and wholesalers

These six apps have different purposes. They show all the products. This marketing strategy has proven to be successful, thanks to impulsive buyers.

What Business Model Does Wish Put In Place?

Since its start, Wish has tapped the consumer behavior well into its business. Its co-founder Peter Szulczewski once desired to integrate ‘mall browsing’ in their app. Mall browsing means displaying all the products in front of you and you choose what you have to buy.

Wish implements this age-old marketing technique for attracting customers. Tell me how many times do you prepare a shopping list before you step into a supermarket or a mall. Wish cash in on this behavior of consumers.

This method targets the people who are looking for cheaper prices on every item. It has nothing to do with the need. The discounts offered here are to act as click baits for such customers.

Focusing On Mobile Platforms

Other eCommerce platforms start with web apps and come to mobile apps. Wish has always placed the mobile platform on the center stage. The market statistics mentioned earlier give enough evidence.

An excellent mobile presence ensures a good number of customers.?

Keeping Impulsive Buyers In The Center Of The Frame

We cannot emphasize enough this one. These people are at the core of the success of Wish. Other platforms need you to type in the goods you want to search for.

Wish gives you the experience of strolling in the mall via your device. You end up buying those ‘irresistible’ items.

Offering Items At Bargain Prices

This is the USP of Wish. It collaborates with the artists, artisans, wholesalers, manufacturers. It provides a rich collection of goods to consumers at attractive prices.

Wish recognizes that people are more likely to buy goods at low prices. Thus, Wish started the direct shipping of certain products from the warehouses and factories.

Now, having known so much about Wish, do you now wish for your own eCommerce app to reign the markets?

If that is the case,

Let us look at what features you need to include in your app to make this wish come true.

What Features Should Your App Have?

By now you know that your online eCommerce marketplace does not need to cater to the consumers, But needs to cater the sellers.  It means that the app must have a separate panel for the consumers and the merchants.

Besides, there must be an Admin panel as in every other app so that you have control over the app.

Admin Panel Merchant Panel Consumer Panel
Login ID & password Sign-up/Sign-in Sign-up/Sign-in
Dashboard Subscription Plan Find Stores
Manage Payment Stores setup Featured Product Lists
Manage Users
Manage catalog See product ads
Manage Ad Campaign Put Product Ads Filter
Manage Referral/Invites Manage Tickets Product Details
Manage Points/Rewards Import Product Add-to-Cart
Manage Tickets Manage orders Wish-list
Manage Product Category, Sub-category Payment Accounting Multiple Payment Option
User Review Intake In-App Wallet
Online Payment Reward Points
Run campaign Offers and discounts
Automatic adjustment of Sale

Don’t Forget These Key Points


Adages always tell us to learn from the mistakes of others. You must take this piece of advice. It is important if you are into setting up your own eCommerce platform.

When you go to see user reviews of the Wish app on Google Play Store, you will find many poor reviews. They owe to the delayed and poor shipping process.

So you must ensure a good and consistent order tracking mechanism. You can do this with the help of shipping APIs available out there.

Personalized Content

Artificial Intelligence made space in our lives. Personalized content seems to be a regular thing now. You should take care that the items that appear in their account’s feed relate to the customers.

They would go for kinds of stuff related to their culture, location, lifestyle, etc. Various APIs are put to use for this purpose.

Tracking Login Session

When your system can check the time users spend logged into your app, you can get an idea about which customers are more likely to make a purchase.

It is evident that a user who spends more time on the app is either looking for some item or is an impulsive buyer. In such a case you can give exclusive offers to users.

Multiple Currency Support

A lot of online consumers outside of the USA face this trouble of currency. When they select the product they want to purchase, the price is shown in Dollars and not in the currency of their country.

So, they have to go through the trouble of conversion, which makes them abandon the purchase sometimes.

To make sure that this is not the case with your app, make use of the Google currency API that allows the users to convert the price in their currency instantly.

Auto-Tax Calculation

Your user should be able to see the total price that he has to pay, including the taxes that are levied in his region. Integration of the tax-calculation API into your app does the task for you.

Payment Gateway

Integrate trusted Payment Gateway into your app. Give support for PayPal, Braintree, and Stripe, for example.

Cloud Storage

Cloud is the best place to store user data. It can be safe, secure, and easily accessible, all at the same time.

SMS Gateway API

When a customer gets constant updates about where his order has reached and by what time it will reach him, it keeps him content. You can do this by SMS updates using this API.

Analytics And Reporting

This feature is useful for all three panels of the app- admin, merchants, and consumers. You cannot miss out on its inclusion.

Read also: All You Need to Know About How to Patent An App Idea

How Will You Churn Out Money?

Different eCommerce platforms employ different monetization models. However, if the Wish app inspires you, then you must know how it fulfills you as well as their wish.

Wish takes 15% amount from each transaction. Merchants agree to this when they create their account on the app. This is because the support that they get here is unparalleled; the seller support on other platforms is not so plausible.

What Should Be My Technology Stack?

Technology What To Use To Implement This Technology
Database Mongo DB, Mail Chimp Integration, HBase, Postgress, Cassandra
Database Management Datastax, Redis
Cloud Environment Amazon Web Services
Universal OS  Andromeda, Debian
Payments Paypal, Stripe, Braintree
SMS Notifications Twilio, Nexmo, Plivo, Sinch
Push Notifications Twilio, Push.io
E-mails Amazon SES, Mailgun
Cloud Storage NextCloud, IDrive, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google cloud storage
Real-time Analytics Apache Spark

Technology is always the king of this business. So, you cannot afford to make a compromise here or with the team structure. Let us see what all technologies are required to make an app like Wish:

What Should You Look For In a Team Of Developers?

Suppose you subscribe to the best technology stack, have the best of the pricing methods to offer, but your team of mobile app developers is incompetent and lacks experience. Or suppose you hire the best of developers, but they don’t have their roles defined.

What will be the prospect of your business??
You don’t even want to imagine this blunder, right❗❓
For a healthy future of your eCommerce app, your team structure must have the following people, each proficient in their skills:

  • Project Manager
  • App Developers (Android & iOS)
  • UX UI Designers
  • Back-End Developers
  • Database Expert
  • QA Expert

How Much Cost Should You Expect In The Process?

The cost of developing your own Wish-like app will depend on a number of factors:

  • App size and complexity: The higher the complexity, the higher will be the charges
  • Number of platforms you wish to develop the app for: Cost increases as the number of platforms increases
  • The geographical location of the app development company: The charges of developers per hour of work varies from country to country. So, when the same task cost you a fortune in the U.S., it can be done at a much lower price in the Indian subcontinent.

As a rough estimate, you can expect to shell out around $10000-$20000. This is the estimate if you choose to develop for a single platform, either Android or iOS. Otherwise, if you opt to build your app for both of these platforms, the cost can go up to $25000 or even higher.


When you set out to set up your own eCommerce firm like Wish, you have to cater to all segments of your target audience. It includes the merchants too. The enterprise mobile application development company is trying to give personalized content to the user. At the same time, it should be tempting to the user.

Attractive design, smooth User Interface, safe & secure transactions are among the other features that you should include. Shipping and tracking are also a crucial aspect, as glitches here can make you lose out on customers. Also, choose a good monetization method that keeps both, you and the merchant happy.