The fate of an $11B+ ecommerce giant could hang on its small-biz partners

Wish takes a novel approach to warehouses and fulfillment.


July 31, 2020

Denim-print bike shorts: $9. Mini crossbow: $17. “Brest enlarging” cream: $4.

This curious cornucopia is the low-priced foundation of Wish’s $11B+ ecommerce empire:

  • Moving ~3m items/day, Wish is the 4th largest digital marketplace in the US.
  • Since January 2019, 36k+ small businesses in the US and Europe have partnered with Wish to stock/deliver its wares.

And as Forbes reports, a sudden shift means those mom and pops could decide the company’s future.

But first: How is sketchy boob goo worth so much?

It’s all about subsidies, sweetie.

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Wish played middleman between shoppers and Chinese manufacturers. Shipping subsidies let producers move goods to Americans dirt-cheap…

… which meant Wish didn’t have the high overhead of warehouses, a la Amazon.

But on July 1, the Universal Postal Union popped the subsidy bubble. Shipping costs doubled overnight.

Now Wish is wishing on small businesses

Wish pays them to carry inventory and become storefronts. It’s getting around the shipping dilemma by bundling orders and sending them to stores in bulk.

It’s aiming to ink deals with 100k stores by the end of the year — and eventually reach 1m retail partners.

We, eh, Wish them well. You never know when you’ll need the following goodies:

  • a human hair wig ($15)
  • a definitely-not-fake Rolex ($51)
  • some parasite-free detox blast capsules ($11)
  • a goat hoof trimmer ($96)

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Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

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