Carlos Varas opened his medical uniform and supply business in October 2019, not knowing that demand for his products was about to skyrocket in the wake of a global pandemic. Ropa Medica Zoe is run out of a small retail space in the Mexican city of Uriangato, selling mostly surgical scrubs. Varas joined Wish Local soon after opening his brick-and-mortar store to increase foot traffic and gain visibility in his region.
In March, local authorities in Uriangato ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses. Because he provides critical supplies to healthcare workers, Varas’s store was allowed to remain operational. “I felt a sense of responsibility to make sure my community had access to face masks,” he says. With most locals staying at home, Varas knew he needed to get his products online to reach more shoppers. As a Wish Local participant, he was in a good position to immediately begin uploading face masks to the Wish app.
Varas sources cloth face masks from local vendors and puts them on the Wish app using the Sell on Wish program. In the past couple of weeks alone, he has sold more than 300 masks in both adult and children’s sizes. He’s not the only business in the area selling masks, and he credits marketing and exposure on Wish for his success. Varas says, “I have generated sales by sharing posts on social media with my [Wish] referral code in a consistent manner.”
Because his store sells medical scrubs, a niche product that most people don’t need, Varas joined Wish Local mainly to take advantage of the referral program. He started by sharing his referral code with his friends and family before branching out to customers and his community. To date, he’s earned more than $900 in referrals alone. He keeps his prices reasonable to ensure his products remain accessible to those who need them. This has built trust with local residents and he’s able to refer more users to Wish through these relationships. As advice to other Wish Local stores, “Consumers care about companies with missions so make sure to make yourself seen and known.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unexpected changes to Ropa Medica Zoe. Before the pandemic, Varas primarily sold orders to nurses. However, with the current high demand from frontline medical workers, the shop is now frequented by local doctors who then refer his store to other doctors. Locals are less likely to want to handle cash these days. Varas credits his online Sell on Wish account for providing another payment option to customers.
Varas says that his community was unfortunately slow to realize the full scope of the situation. He leads by example by making sure his employees are following safe social distancing practices and providing hand sanitizer to customers. He is determined to remain optimistic about the future of business. He says, “It is important to understand that ultimately you will determine how successful you are. Seize the opportunity and implement a marketing strategy.”
While others stay home, Varas keeps busy working around the clock to make sure face masks are always available to those who need them. He never lets current conditions get him down. “It is essential to think about the bigger picture: We need to utilize our resources strategically to help each other. I would say keeping busy and tending to my business helps keep my spirits up.”
To learn more about how to sell your store’s products on Wish, click here.