By: Amy Rosner By: Amy Rosner | January 27, 2022 | Style & Beauty
As we enter a new era of technology, the conversation surrounding Artificial Intelligence and supercharged humans continues to shift and reframe itself.
Introducing Wishi: the first-ever tech-enabled service specializing in two-way party styling.
This 3-year-old scalable software company combines proprietary technology with in-house subject matter experts to optimize the high-touch experience of brick-and-mortar shopping for the digital landscape.
Wishi is dedicated to creating the most streamlined and effective flow in luxury retail by partnering with powerhouse brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Farfetch, ModaOperandi, Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, and Ssense.
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The innovative platform was co-founded by celebrity styling expert, Karla Welch, alongside Clea O’hana (CEO), Lia Kislev (CPO), and Aya Elhannan (CTO).
Coined as one of the most powerful stylists in the industry, Welch is undoubtedly a force in the fashion world. Her progressive approach towards fashion combined with her effortless techniques is apparent in the styles of her red carpet and editorial clients. Karla is a creative visionary with an impeccable eye for style, design, and creative direction.
Under Clea’s leadership, Wishi became the world's leading e-commerce sales optimization tool boasting 500% growth in gross revenue since 2020. With Clea's guidance, Wishi's proprietary technology and supercharged experts successfully generate a transaction rate 8x higher than the industry average which in turn created the market demand for Wishi's embedded solution. The world's biggest e-tailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Farfetch are now Powered by Wishi.
We sat down with industry trailblazers, Karla and Clea, to discuss how Wishi is shaping the future fabric of fashion.
In what ways does Wishi directly address consumers rising demand for streamlining personal styling services and services? In other words, how is it filling a critical gap in the market?
Consumers are looking for an online guided shopping experience. The traditional e-comm websites have various different categories and that in and of itself is not enough - it lacks personalization. Consumers have higher expectations and expecting them to go through thousands of products is unrealistic.
How is Wishi adapting to and embracing an ever-evolving business world?
We have an extremely dynamic business model and hold no inventory. We are integrated with 48 retailers/brands and are capable of serving any relevant inventory to the right audience. If a client is looking for suits we can pull that from our more conservative partners, if they are looking for loungewear we also have partners that carry loungewear.
How do you choose the retailers you work with? In what ways are your platform’s services leveraged by these retailers?
We have incredible demand for our services, all retailers understand that scaling personal styling service has become essential to their digital experience. It’s like imagining if physical stores had no sales associates to help the customers and we only had headless checkouts - it wouldn't be feasible.
In broad terms, how has Wishi made a tangible impact on the world of e-commerce?
Wishi increases the AOV by 70% and lowers bounce rate, as well as return rates which is an improvement on the environment.
Can you talk a little bit about your process of selecting the Wishi styling experts? How do you vet them?
We have a deep vetting process, they apply, go through a rigorous training program built by Karla Welch, and then we make sure they maintain a high rating and offer the best service.
Wishi is known to generate a transaction rate 8x higher than the industry average. What specific elements of your platform guide shoppers to more accurate choices?
Users willingly share an incredible amount of data as they want the output to be as close as possible to their "dreams". They usually give us all the information we need to create the "perfect look" - since they come with high intent and we serve the inventory they are already looking for there is very little margin for error.
Your platform employs a combination of machine learning and human expertise. How do you balance the AI and humanistic components? How do you ensure that the technology doesn’t diminish the human connection so integral to the shopping and styling experience?
The AI only helps the expert and increases their productivity. We strongly believe in the human connection element of our service and use technology to make the styling process more efficient for the expert.
How is your platform shifting the conversation surrounding shopping and styling?
We sit squarely in the middle of conversational and contextual commerce.
In what ways will Wishi play a critical component in Fashion Week, and other pinnacle industry events coming up?
We bridge the gap between the high-fashion you'll see on the runway and what people actually wear day-to-day. Wishi takes what you see at fashion week and present it in a more approachable format.
Photography by: Courtesy Wishi, Gabrielle Henderson