Gemma Escribano: CMO, Wallapop
Enabling connections close to home
Interview with Gemma Escribano, CMO, Wallapop
Wallapop is now in its fourth year of operation. Can you explain a little about the origins of the brand and the place you set out to occupy in the market?
Wallapop was born in September 2013 in Barcelona, with the aim of creating a sustainable and responsible consumption alternative that could give a second life to the objects we have at home that we do not use. The idea was that these unused items could be sold to people who were nearby and, in this way, it would promote trade between people living in the same neighborhood or city. In recent years, shopping on the internet has increased a lot, and the downside of this is that we have lost the habit of going to neighborhood stores to shop.
Wallapop is based on the concept we call “warm internet”, where technology brings people together rather than distancing them. In Wallapop, when you buy a product, you meet in person with the seller, which turns out to be your neighbor, who lives in the same neighborhood as you. You see the product, you touch it, you ask what you want and if you like it you buy it. So easy and simple; there is no margin of error in size or delay in shipping.
This is a brand that was born in the middle of a crisis in Spain. What are the keys to having achieved such rapid growth at this time?
Until the arrival of Wallapop, none of the existing second-hand platforms offered a native mobile solution that would adapt to new forms of consumption. The simplicity and speed in the use of the application, and the communication and image that has been given to the brand, have been key to the success of Wallapop.
Wallapop is a purely digital company. Have you had difficulty connecting with consumers who are not born into the digital generation?
The main users of Wallapop, contrary to what you might imagine, are men and women between 30 and 45 years who have a medium to medium-high level of income. They do not use Wallapop as a necessity, but as a platform where they can find opportunities in terms of prices, and buy value-added products. It also serves to help them get rid of what they do not use, and earn extra money. So it is not an app that is only used by the more digital generations. Wallapop users are from 18 to 70. Wallapop is an app that is made for all audiences, native or non-native digital, and herein lies the success you see.
What are the values of the Wallapop brand? What is your brand purpose or vision?
Wallapop is more than finding your ideal product or selling what you do not use. At Wallapop, we are seeking to boost consumption that is more conscious, through a more human exchange experience.
How do you collect the views of your consumers (and the general public) to be able to offer them a brand experience that is both pleasant and meets their demands?
At Wallapop, we take into account the opinions of users and we actively listen, daily, to what our users say or ask through social networks, app stores, the customer service channel, and so on. Not living with our backs to users is one of the keys to success. If you do not care what your customers say about you, how are you going to get better?
Some of your investors entered Wallapop through a "media for equity" agreement, which provided you with advertising space. What has been the effect of this?
The TV helped us a lot, to publicize the application and to promote the launch. It was a clear success.
Recently, the #becaswallapop campaign to provide scholarships for women was launched. What is the importance of supporting society for the Wallapop brand?
We decided to launch this CSR action because the offer of jobs in the technology sector are growing a lot, but unfortunately the incorporation of women in these positions is not growing at the same pace. The gap between women and men in this sector will increasingly be widened if action is not taken. With #becaswallapop, we wanted to contribute to increasing the number of women specialized in this aspect of the technology and to promote their presence not only in Wallapop, but in other companies in the sector.
What can we expect from Wallapop in the future?
We’ll keep growing and continue to offer a quality product to our users.