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Mobile App WunWun Delivers Anything in an Hour

December 31, 2014 | Mobile


Lee Hnetinka
CEO
WunWun

The mobile app WunWun—which stands for What You Need, When You Need—is an on-demand delivery service that will deliver almost anything within 1 hour via a network of personal shoppers. Currently operating in San Francisco and New York, WunWun plans to expand to other cities in early 2015. WunWun’s network of shoppers use their own bikes or cars to deliver. Lee Hnetinka, CEO of WunWun, spoke with eMarketer’s Elyssa Goldberg about the on-demand delivery space and what “convenience customers” and same-day delivery could mean for brick-and-mortar retailers.

eMarketer: Who uses WunWun? What do people order?

Lee Hnetinka: In New York City, our most popular orders are groceries, restaurant deliveries and liquor. So the vendors could be Whole Foods, maybe something like Shake Shack and then your local liquor store.

WunWun is for the convenience customer. It is someone who wants 10 items or less—maybe one night wants to cook, the next night just wants a bottle of wine with delivery from their favorite restaurant.

When you open our app, it asks you a simple question: “What would you like delivered?” You type in what you want—toilet paper, a six-pack of beer, a carne asada burrito, five smartwaters. The next screen that you’re shown is places around you that carry these items. [Stores bid on keywords for high placement on the list of stores that users see.] And then it’s delivered in an hour.

“In New York City, our most popular orders are groceries, restaurant deliveries and liquor.”

eMarketer: What differentiates WunWun from its competitors?

Hnetinka: There are a bunch of companies right now that can bring you anything you want delivered within 1 hour. You have to know where the thing is, though. What we’re building and what we use and collect data for is to deliver pretty much anything you want in 1 hour, and you don’t have to know where it is. Offline inventory can be stuck in places where there’s little access to it. We bring that access. Instead of building warehouses, the city is our warehouse.

eMarketer: What is the biggest hurdle to adoption for retailers?

Hnetinka: I think there are a few retailers who want to sit on the sidelines and see how on-demand delivery plays out. There are other guys that recognize the value we bring as a marketplace. We have sellers, which are stores and restaurants. And we have buyers—you, me and everyone else who WunWuns.

At first, some didn’t know how to treat that relationship. Maybe they were scared by what Amazon has done with their sellers or how they use customer data to then sell items themselves. We do not plan to hold inventory, and we have very low operating costs, whereas many do the complete opposite. They hold all the inventory. They have trucks.

When ecommerce started, it was 20 days to get your delivery. Then it was seven. Then you could get two- or three-day delivery. Now you can Prime in two days, or you can WunWun in 1 hour.

eMarketer: Are there any hurdles to adoption for users?

Hnetinka: The progression to Uber and car service companies is a natural progression in ecommerce. The difference with us is we’re actually changing retail behavior. We’re stopping you from going to a store—we’re bringing the goods to you. The price sensitivity around what a user is willing to pay is a problem. They don’t want to pay that much, they want it really quickly and they want a lot of selection.

“When ecommerce started, it was 20 days to get your delivery. Then it was seven. Then you could get two- or three-day delivery. Now you can Prime in two days, or you can WunWun in 1 hour.”

eMarketer: Data shows that most people don’t know that Amazon has same-day delivery. What kind of marketing are you using to get the word out about WunWun?

Hnetinka: When we launch in a new city, early influencers, early adopters and local press are what matters. Or when someone WunWuns in an office, we see real-time heat maps of other people signing up around them. Once people use it, we’ve seen insane repeatability and order frequency rates.

eMarketer: What are you doing for the holidays?

Hnetinka: We power offline stores online. You could WunWun from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, for example. But last holiday season we also made our own online stores offline.

We put 10 items in a backpack, and you would press “Get on-demand pop-up shop,” then our guys came to your conference room and turned it into a little boutique. It was amazing. It was an on-demand pop-up shop. If you picked the right items for the backpacks, the sales just happened. That was really cool, and I think we’ll have more of those in store for this holiday season.

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