How Much Does It Cost To Develop An Online Marketplace Like Wish

06 Jul 2017
9 min
author avatar
Daria R.

Online shopping is a thriving market. While the e-commerce sphere is growing continually, retailers are trying to turn it to advantage. Considering some limitations of mobile web browsers, mobile e-commerce application development as a way to create personalized approach to each client. And the fact that almost 150 million customers have purchased at least one article using a web browser or mobile shopping apps last year doesnt sound like fantasy. According to Statista, Mobile e-commerce market in the USA will have reached 170 mln by 2019. 

shopping apps like wish statistics

Statista - the Statistics portal

Target audience of e-commerce

Electronic commerce is a purchase and sale of goods via the electronic channels. There are three main branches of e-commerce: 

  • Internet - shops. Its one of the most famous branches, which is also often called business to customers (B2C) service. Here people can make orders and pay for them on the Internet. 
  • B2B service is a business to business interaction. Where companies, such as manufacturers, wholesale dealers and traders exchange goods or services. 
  • C2C service includes all deals between customers, like eBay or similar sites.  

However, despite the variety of large internet platforms (like Amazon, eBay or Alibaba), Wish marketplace is becoming more and more popular these days.

What is Wish app?

Now, it is time to look closer at what is Wish and how Wish app works. Wish is a service in the USA and Great Britain that connects users with salesmen in China. Buying from Wish app is a great fun, because you can find here anything from clothing to household appliances. How does Wish make money? Not only the prices make a customer happy, but also numerous bonuses along with happy hours, discounts and coupons.


Want to create an app to make your staff do what you need? Read how to engage users and employees with a gamified app!

In the first place, Wish app offered customers to create their wish shopping list. Only after that, they informed trade business representatives of an amount of potential clients, which wanted to purchase their goods. The Wish store mostly offers Chinese items, yet, salesmen from other countries can use the Wish shopping app for business as well. The app Wish has a very simple interface and looks like a simple board with goods from different categories.

How does Wish work?

Apart from the low prices and bonuses and tonnes of items, Wish relies on the impulsive buyers. Thats why it looks like an endless list of articles, grouped into categories.

The app itself covers Android and IOS platforms. More than that, the developers created 6 projects that are related to Wish. How does Wish app work? The fragmentation according to the specific topic simplifies the search process and makes users experience more personalized. As an example, they took Facebook with its Messenger, which excluded all unnecessary features. Its time to find out what these projects are:

It's the main website, where you can find a huge range of cosmetics, clothes, gadgets and decor stuff.

wish reviews

Wish website

Geek Wish mostly sells electronics and technical devices.

wish shopping site

Geek Wish website

Mama shopping - everything for mums, future mums and their kids, all the best from China

app wish for mums

Mama shopping

Cute Wish. This is a paradise for girls. Mascara, eye lashes, brushes, liners and lipglosses

wish shopping reviews

Cute Wish website

Home decor. Whether you like modern, baroque or shabby chic, the platform will help you transform all your bold ideas into reality.

wish online shopping

Home decor website

Wish for merchants. Is a platform for merchants who want to start their business with Wish. Here they can submit their goods, track ordering from Wish, promote articles and get all analytics on their deals.

how does the wish app work

Wish for merchants

The creation of different applications was a really great idea, because it saves users time and makes shopping process more pleasant.

Business development model of the Wish mobile app

The application isnt held liable for the delivery, goods quality and the merchants that use it. Is the Wish app reliable? Well, the application isnt responsible for the articles are being sold here. All responsibilities are on merchants. Wish is a huge market for retailers as well as for large brands. It charges 15% on each deal. Wish has become so popular due to its business strategy, which is:

  • Mobile oriented 
  • Induce impulsive purchases (as the there are lots of articles on a page with low price and attractive look). The creators of Wish compare their platform with a shopping mall, where buyers dont know what they want.
  • Offer discounts and thus exclude price contest. 

Disadvantages of shopping apps like Wish

Low price attracts lots of customers, yet the quality matches the cost. Various critical comments can be found on the forums regarding this issue. As far as Wish doesnt bear responsibility for a deal, a customer doesnt have any protection. Take it into account if you want to make a Wish marketplace to guarantee the protection of your users and build long-term loyal relationships.

If you think how to create apps like Wish, your primary task is to define the functionality set. The best solution is to start with an MVP version. Such an approach allows to test your business idea and check its feasibility with minimal investments.


If you have low budget but a really cool idea, why don't you start with an MVP? Press here to learn how to save on development!

Initially, Wish website had only an opportunity to create a wishlist. Other features were added later, whenever it was necessary. Thus, starting small, they became a giant in the world of trade. Creating a Minimum Viable Product you save the time and cost of the development greatly. If your project is successful this is the time to extend it.

Wish app features for MVP model

MVP development brings lots of benefits and if you have decided to start with it, here is a short list of the absolutely necessary features which you need to include into your app to give it a chance to survive on the market.

User registration

Wish application provides different options for registration, via Facebook, Google+ or using standard way via e-mail.

Search engine and articles classification

The apps similar to Wish offer a set of personalized filter to make sure that a customer will get the result they want to achieve. Here you can find colour or rating filters.

Personal bonuses

The Wish store has a survey with a list of questions. After a user has answered them, he is advised the goods that he will probably like and buy. The system also analyses the history of purchases and a wishlist of a particular user to improve the selection process.

Flash Deal discounts

Its a kind of discount campaign when the articles are sold at a ridiculous price. Such sale can last for a few hours. This strategy is very popular in social media and can cover one article or many of them.


Payments security is a priority for any system. People tend to trust only to well-known reliable payment services, like PayPal or Stripe. You also need to ponder the repayment and cancellation policy. According to Invesp research, 67% users check this feature before purchasing goods.


Have difficulties with Payment Processor Integration? Here's our simple step-by-step guide for you!

Client support system

Its technical support, which can be automated (for instance, with the help of a bot that is going to solve routine tasks). Dont forget to take care of your customers providing them with the highest level of protection. This is the soft spot of Wish. Make sure that all your merchants are reliable.

Shopping cart

It would be even better if your app will include wishlist feature. In online shopping apps like Wish, there is always such opportunity for users. It will give you valuable information about the preferences of your customers. And the recommendation engine will work better.

Check orders

The feature is necessary as it assures a customer that his order is being delivered and he hasnt been fooled.

Clients feedback section

Usually customers prefer to rate articles and merchants with stars, as its easy and comfortable. Even if an item has a negative comment it is better than no comments or only positive ones, as they are considered as censored or fake.

Push notifications

Inform customer of a discount on the items in their wishlist.

Transparent delivery terms

As mobile trade is connected with delivery services, bare in mind that you should offer different options to your users, rapid or usual delivery, free or paid.


Attractive design and smooth user interface development guarantee you more users. Bear in mind that the interface should be very intuitive as for users and for merchants as well.

Additional features of shopping apps like Wish

It was a minimal set. But it doesnt mean that you cant make your app even more interesting and advanced. You can add as many various features as you want but wed advise you to consider these ones:

Virtual changing rooms

Augmented Reality implementation is a fun way to assure a user that he needs the item. IKEA and Converse already use the technology to show pieces of furniture in users flats or shoes on feet in real-time mode. The system shows 3D objects in different dimensions enabling customers interaction with digital visualization.

Watch our illuminating video about AR technologies and don't forget to subscribe to our channel to get more enlightening videos!

Style board

Girls will love it! The feature lets them tinker with their looks sing the items from your app.

Compare items

Compare items feature helps choose the most advantageous variant for a customer.

Pay installments

In case your customer hesitates, this feature comforts him and persuades even if he cant afford it now.

Currency converter

It is just a good way to show that you care about every customer despite their location and origin.

Gift certificate

The more bonuses, discounts and other encouragements you give to the customers, the more loyalty you gain.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Wish?

Summing up all the functionality which weve mentioned, lets estimate the approximate cost of an app like Wish.

how much does it cost to develop app Wish

Wish app development cost - Infographic

Before you start the development of your app choose what platform(s) you want to cover IOS or Android. The price can change according to the functionality you set. The more features you develop the higher the cost will be. Yet, dont forget about the minimal enlistment which guarantees feasibility of the application. Contact our managers to estimate your own project right now!

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