What do you want, need, love? Wanelo can tell you. (Want, Need, Love — get it?) Kind of like Pinterest for shopping, this app lets you browse items other users have found and deemed cool enough to post. But instead of being limited to just oohing and aahing over what they’ve discovered, you can buy the items, too!
Browse, shop, buy or save items for later, plus connect with other users and maybe even start your own Wanelo following. Hit the jump and I’ll show you how it works.
You can sign in with Facebook, or create a Wanelo account (consisting of your email, username and a password). Like most apps these days, Wanelo can send you push notifications if you authorize it to do so. These take shape in the form of alerts about your followers and other users.
You’re instantly presented with the home screen, a grid of objects. Click on any one to learn more, including the user who posted it, the price, when it was posted and from where it was posted. You also have the option to buy the item or save the item in either your Epic Wishlist or your list of Gifts. Swipe downward anywhere on the grid to refresh the page of products.
Whip Out That Plastic
Tapping Buy It will take you to the web page where you can actually purchase the item, whatever page it was posted from on the Internet.
While doing this, you remain in the app, which is convenient and makes for a much better shopping experience than if you were forced to jump back and forth between the browser and the app.
Note that it’s easier to buy from some retailers than others in this situation. For instance, online shops like Etsy already have mobile sites that will dictate how the site is automatically displayed for you while you’re making a purchase.
Other online retailers, however, may not have a mobile version of their site, and then navigation can become a bit of a chore. Obviously, none of this is something Wanelo has control over, but it is something you’ll come across while using the app to browse items.
After you’ve saved a few products, you might want to begin following certain users with good taste. Click on any user’s name above an item to view his or her profile and select Follow.
Once you’ve followed some other users, the second tab in Wanelo becomes relevant. This is where you’ll receive your alerts about new products that have been added an other users’ activities.
The third tab (with sunglasses and a mustache) shows you your own profile and all the items you’ve saved.
You may also want to share an item with the Internet, aka the world. Tap the Send icon that appears in the top righthand corner while viewing any item. From there you can easily send the item to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Email or SMS.
That’s pretty much it. Wanelo offers so much to look at and browse through that it’s developers have done well to keep the navigation and options simple. A few final notes, though …
You’re probably wondering, “So, how do you post items to Wanelo?” Good question. The Wanelo app works in tandem with Wanelo.com, which in turn (again, this is similar to Pinterest) offers a bookmarklet that makes it possible to curate things across the web and add them to your Wanelo account.
At least for now, I’d say the vast majority of users are women, probably between the ages of 15 and 25, therefore the variety of products has not yet reached the level of diversity I would like to see, but time and an increase in the number of users could change all of that. That being said, there are still some really cool products and retailers I’ve come across on Wanelo that I would never have found otherwise.
One thing that confused me about the app was the fact that you can access all your saved items, but they aren’t separated into Epic Wishlist or Gifts, nor can you tell what’s in which list. This category separation is something that you can view on the website, however.
Sometimes it’s the little things that count. I appreciate that Wanelo included the ability to open webpages in-app, and I also find some of the design elements (like the sunglasses and mustache) and phrasing (like “OMG. Alerts.” at the top of the alerts screen — to have a tongue-in-cheek kind of fun and humor to them.
I definitely plan on continuing use of Wanelo in the future, and I think it’s going to be handy for sharing cool things with my friends on Twitter and elsewhere across the ‘net. The only thing that truly makes me sad about this app is that I didn’t think of it first!