Wish parent ContextLogic Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer Rajat Bahri says that customers longing for a better experience with the Wish mobile shopping app are getting it, thanks to improvements the company has made to different parts of the platform over the last couple of years.
There have been media reports () of deliveries and refunds taking months to arrive. And MarketWatch has received messages ( ) from customers who make similar complaints.
Bahri says the company has taken action, and will continue to do so.
"Consumer complaints tend to be around logistics. We've been working on this the last two years," he told MarketWatch after the initial public offering on Wednesday.
"Two years ago there was no visibility on how merchandise was sent. Now 90% of products are going through our platform. So we feel we have now found a solution."
Bahri says the company has also hired "hundreds of agents across the globe to address these complaints." Customers can ask for "an immediate refund" for an item.
See: U.S. will remain biggest retail market as government stimulus, e-commerce push the nation ahead of China ()
Wish has gone public at a time when e-commerce is surging, with new shoppers heading online and more people buying a wider variety of items digitally.
However, the company is facing competition from more established retailers, like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Walmart Inc. (WMT), that are known for quick delivery and other convenient perks.
One of the risk factors that Wish identified in its prospectus has to do with customer experience.
"If we are unable to promote, maintain, and protect our brand and reputation, and offer a compelling user experience, our ability to attract new users and engage with our existing base of users will be impaired," the company wrote.
Wish has 100 million monthly active users () in more than 100 countries, and more than 500,000 merchants selling 150 million items.
Wish aims to offer an affordable shopping option to the one billion-plus households around the world that it says have an income of less than $75,000 per year, a demographic the company says has been ignored by e-commerce companies.
Read:Wish IPO: 5 things to know about the mobile e-commerce company ()
Retailers that specialize in low-price items tend to steer clear of e-commerce. Burlington Stores Inc. (BURL), for example, pulled the plug on its e-commerce platform this year, explaining that, with an average unit retail (AUR) of $12, it was impossible to be successful online.
Also: Burlington Stores, which doesn't sell online, says it will gain as stores shutter and customers look for value ()
Bahri says the answer is data science; the more data the company collects, the better its recommendations and the more it has been able to scale and the more things customers will buy.
"As you get more data, the better you get," he told MarketWatch. "That becomes a competitive moat."
Bahri says the company's competition includes not just Walmart, but discount stores like Dollar General Inc. (DG) and Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR) He says Wish is taking market share.
In emerging markets across places like Latin America and Africa where many people access the internet on mobile phones, the company says many of its customers are new to e-commerce. But the company sees itself growing across all markets, and it is adding merchandise in an array of categories so shoppers can more easily find whatever they're looking for.
"We want Wish to become a default place where you can shop for everything," he said.
Wish closed its first trading day () at $20.05 after pricing late Tuesday at $24. Shares bounced back more than 13% on Thursday.
The Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO) is up 116.7% over the last year while the benchmark S&P 500 index has gained 16.5% for the period.
-Tonya Garcia; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 17, 2020 14:47 ET (19:47 GMT)
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