Intro: Chicwish S.W.O.T Investigative Review
Online shopping has been growing tremendously this century and is now eclipsing in-person retail purchases. People can shop online from smartphones and tablets, saving a trip to a potentially crowded store.
According to Statista, fashion is the number one online shopping category globally, with more than one out of every four dollars spent online being used on some type of fashion product.
Consumers are faced with multiple choices when shopping online, especially when it comes to women’s fashion. Multiple international sites seem to pop up all the time, many of them from China, and several have a negative reputation for product quality and customer service.
But there are legitimate international retailers as well with carefully selected fashions offered at reasonable prices. It can be challenging for consumers to sort between the less legitimate sites and those offering high-quality, unique, clothing at attractive prices from manufacturers around the world.
This is why honest reviews and analyses like this one are important. They help consumers understand a retailer’s strengths and weaknesses so they can make an informed decision on where to spend their money online.
In this investigative review, we’ll take a thorough and detailed look at Chicwish (Chicwish.com), uncovering the retailer’s key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and potential areas for improvement.
Images courtesy of Chicwish.com
AHQ RATINGS SCORE
Based on our comprehensive analysis, we have assigned a B rating to Chicwish The factors driving this AHQ Ratings Score are presented in detail in the sections below.
We have provided detailed documentation of these factors to give a deeper understanding of our scoring methodology, as well as to paint a more complete picture of Chicwish’s strengths and weaknesses.
AHQ SCORE MATRIX
- Brief Overview
- Company Profile
- Company Reputation
- Range of Products
- Company Policies
- Customer Shipping Experience
- Social Media Activity
- Online Presence & Website
- Unique Value Proposition
- Competitor Comparison Table
- S.W.O.T. Analysis
- Final Conclusion
Chicwish is an online boutique retail site selling women’s fashions and accessories. Chicwish mentions on its website that it traces its beginnings back to its original idea of “catering to the younger generation with a distinct sense of chic style while keeping our excellent quality and affordability.”
While it may note that it caters to the younger generation, its clothing has a timeless and classic look that could be worn by anyone, no matter the age.
The site offers mainly women’s clothing and accessories and has a small collection of children’s clothes, along with a “Mommy & Me” section of the site that sells matching outfits for mother and child.
The site offers reasonable prices but is not a “budget site.” Pricing is more at the department store level. This is one important distinction between Chicwish and other online fashion retailers that have a bad reputation for offering cheap goods with cheap quality.
The owner of Chicwish is Chicvision Technology Co., Limited. The company has a registered office address in London, UK, and was incorporated on August 31, 2018, however, the Chicwish website itself has been operating since 2011, making it a retail site with a 10+ year history. We explore the earlier owner of Chicwish, prior to 2018, further down in this review.
How Does the Company Describe Itself?
The company notes that it works with indie designers and has dedicated fashion buyers with over eight years of fashion industry experience. It characterizes Chicwish.com as an online store that is a mecca for those with an eye for fun fashion.
The company describes the fashions offered as:
The clothing offered on the site includes tops, bottoms, dresses, coats, loungewear, activewear, and swimwear. Chicwish has an active social media presence and relationships with multiple style bloggers.
We could not get much of a feel for the people behind the company when reviewing Chicwish.com as the website only provides general details about Chicwish, not about the people that work there.
However, we found a little more detail about the people behind Chicwish on the German version of the site (https://de.chicwish.com/). It notes that “The shop founders, Olivia and Garlok, who love to travel, routinely travel around the world to discover interesting things and share them with our customers.”
This type of personal note is often appreciated by consumers, and it helps give them a stronger connection to a boutique retail site by knowing a little about the people behind it.
A review of the website’s registration found that the domain was first created on February 9, 2011. This would indicate that Chicwish.com operated under a different company prior to 2018 when Chicvision Technology Co., Limited was first registered as a UK business.
We did a little digging and found that on the Chicwish German website There is a business registration for Chicwish Limited in Hong Kong, registration # 58146464-000-03-11-6. The date of the registration is March 28, 2011, which matches the year that Chicwish.com’s domain was first registered.
The German website has a footer and copyright notice that states “CHICWISH.com” indicating that it is connected to the main website Chicwish.com.
We further found by using the internet archive (also known as the Wayback Machine) that in a website snapshot of Chicwish.com from 2012, Chicwish Limited is noted on the “About Us” page along with the same Hong Kong business registration.
So, it appears that the site was owned under Chicwish Limited (a Hong Kong company) previously, and sometime after the UK company’s registration in 2018, has been owned by Chicvision Technology Co., Limited (a UK company).
While Chicvision Technology is a UK-registered company, it appears to have strong ties to China, as the only two people noted with significant company control both reside in China.
The company’s registration notes two active officers:
- Yunma Tianlong International Consulting Co. Limited, located in London, UK. This entity has the role of Secretary and was appointed on August 5, 2020.
- Jiale Liang, located in Jiangmen City, China. Mr. Liang has the role of Director and was appointed on August 31, 2018. Along with Mr. Liang, one other person noted as having significant company control is Ms. Ying Huo. Both reside in China.
The company is transparent in that it lists all its main office addresses on its websites, along with contact phone numbers in the U.S. and China. Many online retailers make it difficult to track down parent companies and addresses, and it’s a positive sign that Chicwish provides this information in an easy-to-find way. This indicates a company that is responsible and transparent.
2755 Dow Ave
Tustin CA 92780
Tel: 415-244-2879 (listed on US site)
Tel: 949-878-6270 (listed on UK site for US address)
Unit7, Marlin Park, Central Way
Feltham TW14 0LG
Floor 3rd, Building 2, Dong Cheng Li,
East District, Zhong Shan,
About Us Page
How a company presents itself to consumers on the About Us page is important. It is where many people learn more about a company and may also look for reassurance that an online fashion retailer is legitimate.
Chicwish presents itself as fashion savvy and working with dedicated fashion buyers and indie designers. It would be nice to see a little more about the people behind the site, which would enhance trust and connection to Chicwish.com
The presence of addresses for the U.S. and U.K. locations is a positive, and one of the trust factors that help shoppers have more confidence in an eCommerce site.
We did note some poor grammar that detracts from the site and may raise red flags for some wary consumers. For example, we’ve pointed out some grammatical errors in the last paragraph on this page.
Image from Chicwish About Us page
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of C for Company Profile
We found that Chicwish does better than many boutique fashion retail sites at making details about the company locations available on its website, including its office addresses and contact phone numbers.
The About Us page could use more details about the company itself. It is only minimally descriptive of how Chicwish came about and what it stands for. We feel this could be made more robust by adding more history and information about the genesis of Chicwish and the vision of the people behind it.
The page also needs to be better written and use correct English without the grammatical errors that it has now. This will enhance the trust and connection between Chicwish and its customers.
The different company registrations for the German site and the U.S. site are somewhat confusing, although most shoppers are not going to notice this difference because they would likely not venture to other sites in different languages.
It could appear to some consumers that the company was trying to hide the fact that it is based in Asia by being owned by a UK-registered company. However, in international retail, it’s not unusual for a company to operate from multiple countries.
We feel that more clarity here could build trust with customers and potential customers, and also enhance the company’s reputation by showing how it has expanded its operations from Hong Kong to Europe and the United States.
We ultimately scored the Company Profile as a C. While Chicwish is more transparent than many competitors when it comes to providing office addresses and contact phone numbers, it is not quite as transparent about its parent company. Another factor that reduced this score was the poor grammar and lack of company history and vision information on the About Us page.
The reputation of an online retailer is important. News travels fast on the internet and a majority of people will research company reviews online before they even consider shopping with an eCommerce fashion site.
According to Statista, over 91% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision, and 31% read at least 4 to 6 reviews for a company first. For a company to continue being successful at what it does, it’s important that it properly manage its online reputation.
We’ve taken a look at the reputation of Chicwish.com and for the most part, it is positive. Though, as most if not all online retailers have, there are some very visible negative reviews out there that could cause shoppers to shy away from Chicwish.
As far as corporate reputation, we could find no mention online of lawsuits or litigation enacted against parent company Chicvision Technology or former parent company Chicwish Limited. This is a good sign, as it shows that the company endeavors to operate in good faith.
Now, let’s look at things that are negatively impacting Chicwish.com’s reputation and the things that are positively impacting its reputation.
Potential Negative Impacts on Chicwish.com’s Reputation
Confusion Over Location Due to Mismatched Meta Tags
While this perception may be unfair, many consumers consider online fashion retailers from China with more suspicion than eCommerce sites located in other countries.
This perception is in part due to the many websites that have cropped up that are known for using fake photos on their sites and then either not shipping items as promised and not issuing refunds easily or shipping inferior items that do not match what the person expected to receive.
We have not seen any evidence that Chicwish should be grouped in with those other retailers. However, some confusion over where the site is based and neglecting to review meta tags for the site could cause consumers to look unfavorably on Chicwish.com.
This would be confusing for a consumer researching the website because what they see in the Google search result description cannot be found on the page itself.
This is due to the fact that the meta tag for “description” may be old and possibly hasn’t been updated to ensure that it matches the information on the page.
A discrepancy of this type can erode consumer trust, especially when the consumer might already be wary about shopping online on a website based outside their own country.
Our recommendation would be for the company to have its webpage metatags for “description” updated to more accurately reflect the content on each page.
Visible Negative Reviews
We searched one of the most common search terms that consumers use when researching a company, which is “(company name) reviews.”
Upon searching “Chicwish Reviews” we found that out of 9 results on page 1 of the search results (not including video results) there were:
- 3 positive
- 3 negative
- 3 neutral (did not give enough detail in the search description to be considered either positive or negative)
We judged the results from the description that consumers see on the Google search result itself, as this is often as far as they’ll go when deciding to buy or not to buy.
A positive is that the first result that comes up on the page is positive. It shows a 4.1 out of 5-star rating on Sitejabber.
However, if someone clicks the question “Is Chicwish good quality” under the “People also ask” area, they immediately see one of the negative results, which is repeated further down in the search results listing.
Image from Google.com
It’s not reasonable to expect a fashion retailer to have no negative reviews at all, because shopping for clothing online has intrinsic factors that can go wrong, such as receiving the wrong size or color, confusion over returns, delayed shipping, etc.
However, with as many negative results on page 1 of Google as positive, a consumer could consider the site too risky to shop.
While it’s not easy for a company to have a direct impact on its Google search results from 3rd party sites, our recommendation would be for Chicwish to focus on “white hat” search engine optimization (SEO) that helps more positive and legitimate results move higher in the search results.
Two places to start would be:
- Using SEO to boost a page 2 search result from com that discusses reviews
- Looking into creating or claiming its profile on company directory sites and ensuring those profiles have been filled out with details that exactly match the Chicwish.com (phone, address, etc.).
Unanswered Complaints on BBB and Other Review Sites
The company’s F rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the U.S. is a factor that harms its reputation. This rating is visible on page 1 of a Google search on “Chicwish reviews” in the example screenshot provided above.
While the star rating average on BBB is fairly good, 3.71 out of 5 stars, the fact that the company has an F rating and failed to respond to 21 complaints out of a total of 24 can overshadow the number of stars it has.
Image from Better Business Bureau
The BBB notes the failure to respond to consumer complaints as the reason for the F rating, which is the lowest the site gives. The Better Business Bureau assigns ratings to businesses from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
Areas of opportunity for the company to address internally can be identified by these common complaints that consumers gave:
- The number provided for customer service is out of service
- Did not receive the promised return label when trying to initiate a return from the Chicwish.com site
- No response from customer support to emails (multiple BBB complaints about this)
- Lack of tracking information and tracking details that don’t work
- Late shipping, even when paying for a guaranteed shipping date
- Difficulty getting money back or only getting a partial refund
But the BBB isn’t the only well-known reviews website where we found that the company’s customer support team isn’t responding to reviews (either positive or negative).
On Sitejabber, we looked through the first 2 pages of reviews and did not find any company replies from Chicwish. On Trustpilot, we also looked through the first two pages of Chicwish reviews and found one response from customer service.
Image from Trustpilot
This is a big area of opportunity for Chicwish to improve its reputation. Studies show that responding to reviews improves a consumer’s overall perception of that company, even if the review it is responding to is negative.
While it does take time and resources to have a customer service department reply to every review on major review platforms, the company could develop a strategy to take this on. For example, it could begin with responding to the BBB complaints and then add some of the larger review sites one at a time. This would provide a way to transition to incorporating more responsiveness o reviews on 3rd party websites.
According to BrightLocal, consumer perceptions of a business increase when a company responds to reviews. It found that 69% of surveyed consumers say they are more likely to use a business that has responded to their positive reviews. 70% say they are more likely to shop a site that has responded to negative reviews.
The additional customer resources that the company deploys to respond to online reviews, could be potentially more than recouped through a boost in reputation and resulting sales.
Potential Positive Impacts on Chicwish.com’s Reputation
Excellent Star Ratings on 3rd Party Review Sites
Now that we’ve looked at some company reputation weaknesses, let’s take a look at the reputation strengths of Chicwish.
When looking at overall star ratings on sites like Amazon, Sitejabber, BBB, and Trustpilot, the company’s ratings are very good. These are all third-party sites, where consumers go to review multiple companies.
One note about reviews, the company does offer consumers store points for reviews, with a requirement that they’ve actually purchased the item and a limit of three reviews (300 points/worth $30).
However, the company does not make any reference to those reviews being on other sites and notes that consumers must own the rights to any images uploaded to Chicwish.com. It further has an image that shows how to add reviews to its website.
This indicates that the points for reviews are for reviews given on Chicwish.com itself and not for reviews on other websites.
When AdvisoryHQ reviews any company, we always consider only 3rd party, independent reviews and not reviews on the company’s website itself.
As mentioned, Chicwish.com’s reputation is positive when you consider the overall star rating averages of these 3rd party review websites:
- Sitejabber Chicwish Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars (110 reviews total), 78.6% positive reviews in the last 12 months.
- Trustpilot Chicwish Reviews: 6 out of 5 stars (2,438 reviews total)
- Better Business Bureau Reviews: 71 out of 5 stars (Average of 35 reviews)
- Amazon Seller Reviews for Chicwish: 4 out of 5 stars (144 reviews total), 84% positive in the last 12 months.
What is the company doing right to garner such a positive reputation?
Here’s an example of what the company is doing right to consistently receive positive ratings, according to its customers:
- Great quality clothing
- The products received look just like the product images online
- Beautiful clothing styles
- Clothing is true to the size ordered
- Customer service handles issues right away
- Unique products that can’t be found elsewhere
- The quality of the clothing exceeds consumer expectations
- Several reviewers mentioned getting compliments on Chicwish clothing
As it should be with a boutique fashion retailer, the clothing that the company sells is one of the biggest reasons for its positive reputation. Multiple reviews praise the clothing quality and styles. The fact that the company’s fashions are “hand-selected to ensure quality and uniqueness,” is paying off by boosting the perception of Chicwish on these 3rd party review sites.
One of the biggest things that consumers worry about is whether or not they are going to get what they ordered when shopping online. When looking at photos posted by customers and comparing those to the site images, we can see why the company’s products garner as much praise as they do.
Here are three examples of how consumers got the exact fashion quality and look they ordered when shopping Chicwish. These are photos that consumers posted on 3rd party review sites next to the product image that Chicwish uses to advertise the same product.
|Photo on Chicwish.com||Customer’s Photo|
(Annette K. – Review on Sitejabber)
|Photo on Chicwish Amazon Shop||Customer’s Photo|
(Jamie W. – Review on Amazon)
|Photo on Chicwish.com||Customer’s Photo|
Customer Review on Amazon
Well-Designed Website With Attractive Products
An attractive website is important when it comes to any company’s reputation these days, and especially for online retailers. We will go into more detail on the website later in the Online Presence & Website scoring area of this investigative review, but here we will mention how it positively impacts the company’s reputation.
The clothing is clearly presented in colorful images on the main page. As customers navigate the site to view the various fashion categories, they can see close-up images of the products, many of which also include model photos.
Additional elements of the website that instill consumer trust:
- PayPal is one of the accepted payment methods
- There is a link in the top navigation bar to track orders
- Pricing and discounts are what one would reasonably expect from quality garments
- Multiple photos have been shared by customers of their purchased Chicwish fashions
Great Relationships with Bloggers & Social Media Influencers
In today’s world, social media is one of the main places that people go when they’re online. Social media presence is becoming increasingly important to consumer brands, and this is often done through relationships with influencers and bloggers.
For a company to maintain positive relationships with these social media influencers, it needs to deliver quality products consistently. If influencers back a product that doesn’t live up to its promises, they can quickly lose followers.
So, the fact that Chicwish has so many relationships with bloggers and influencers is another positive factor boosting the clothing retailer’s reputation. You’ll find multiple posts by influencers and customers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook if you search #Chicwish.
Here are two examples.
The first is from influencer Galina Thomas, who has over 30,000 followers on Instagram. The second is a Facebook post from fashion blogger Stherfane Damasio/Sexton who has over 68,000 followers on Instagram.
Image from Instagram
Image from Facebook
Additionally, you’ll find multiple “haul” and “try-on” videos on YouTube that give customers an up-close look at what they can expect.
Here are two examples:
- Customer Chicwish review video from Lizzie in Lace:
- Customer Chicwish review video from MaryBethStyles:
The Company Has an Amazon Shop
Chicwish has a brand shop on Amazon.com. This is another positive factor influencing the company’s reputation. Amazon notes that it sets “a high bar for Amazon sellers,” thus companies that can’t ship products, provide timely customer support and returns, and uphold Amazon’s high standard for customer experience are weeded out.
Chicwish has an impressive 84% positive on its seller ratings over the last 12 months.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of A- for Company Reputation
Chicwish has done a lot right to create a trusted reputation for the company and its fashions. It does the most important thing a clothing retailer needs to do, which is selling quality clothing that consumers feel good about wearing.
Its multiple 4+ star ratings on several 3rd party websites and positive reputation among bloggers and social media influencers show that the company is doing well in this area.
Two areas of concern that the company may need to address to further improve its reputation are as follows:
- Reply to reviews on 3rd party sites to provide better customer support in relation to negative experiences
For these reasons, we’ve scored the retailer with an A- for the company’s reputation.
Range of Products
Overview of Company Products
Chicwish sells a wide range of women’s fashion and augments those products with a small selection of accessories and children’s clothing.
There is a consistent style and sophistication represented across Chicwish’s product range, which shows the company has strong buyers that know how to keep the brand consistent.
This is more important than some retailers realize. If retailers try to sell every type of fashion appealing to multiple styles, they run the risk of diluting their brand. They become just one of many online retailers out there without an identity that shoppers can latch onto and become fans of.
It’s obvious that the styles sold at Chicwish are providing shoppers with a consistent look and fashion sense and can be worn by a wide variety of consumers, no matter the age.
Adjectives that describe the fashion style of Chicwish clothing are sophisticated, comfortable, classic, multi-purpose, unique, and timeless.
Images courtesy of Chicwish.com
Images courtesy of Chicwish.com
Chicwish has a nice balance of enough of a selection of various garments without going overboard as some fashion retailers do. This makes for a pleasant shopping experience, where consumers don’t feel overwhelmed by too many options.
The categories of products sold on Chicwish.com include:
- Tops (including tops of all sleeve lengths, sweaters, and blouses)
- Bottoms (including pants, skirts, leggings, and shorts)
- Dresses (including dresses in multiple lengths, two-piece, and jumpsuits)
- Outers (including coats, vests, jackets, and blazers)
- Accessories (including jewelry, gift cards, bags, face covers, and scarves)
- Kids (small selection of kids’ items, plus matching Mommy & Me outfits)
- Loungewear & Activewear
Note: The company does list sunglasses under its Accessories menu option, but there are currently no items shown on that page. On an internal side menu, under “Others,” shoppers will find hair accessories (e.g., clips and bows).
As noted in the Company Reputation scoring section, the quality of the clothing is widely praised in online reviews, with the exception of a small percentage of negative reviews.
The photos posted by customers and influencers on several social media sites and review websites clearly illustrate the company’s fashions are well represented on Chicwish.com, and what customers receive (except for a small minority of reviewers) is true to the product images posted on the website.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of A for Range of Products
We’ve graded Chicwish with an A “Exceptional” for its range of products. The company nicely balances having a good selection of inventory without having too many different items that people get overwhelmed.
The fashions are timeless and can be worn by women of any generation, so the site doesn’t box itself into only serving a limited age group of customers.
How Reasonable Are Chicwish’s Policies?
Chicwish Return Policy
Chicwish has a Returns and Exchanges page that outlines its general return policy and also has pages specific to various countries so shoppers can review any differences in policy or return charges that may apply to their country.
Note, the details provided below are pertinent to how the website reads at the time of this review writing. Websites can be updated at any time, in which case this information may change.
The return policy noted on the main return page could be more consistent. At the top of the page, it states that shoppers can return their orders “within 30 days from the date your order shipped to you.”
But then in item #3 on the same page, it states that shoppers can return any item for a refund “within 30 days from the date you receive it.”
Image from Chicwish Returns and Exchanges page.
That is a big distinction and one that can mean a difference of 8 to 12 business days (the estimated shipping time frame noted on this page). This could be the difference between someone receiving a full refund for their order or missing the stated deadline and only getting store credit, thus it should be clearer.
When visiting the US and UK return policy pages, there is more clarity on the policies for Chicwish returns. Additionally, US and UK customers can return or exchange items for free, with certain restrictions.
US & UK Customer Return Policy Highlights:
- Your return is free on your first return for an order
- Additional returns on the same order will cost $7.99 (US) or £4.99 (UK) for a return shipping label, or you can use your own shipping method at your cost
- If you want a refund, then you must return your item within 30 days from the date you receive it.
- If your item is received after 3o days, you won’t be able to get a refund back to your payment method, only store credit.
- For the UK, there is an additional note that returns received after 40 days from “the order date” are unable to be refunded. (This would seem to conflict with returns needing to be received 30 days from “the date you receive it” since shipping timeframes could cause orders to be delayed.)
- US: Returns received after 60 days of the original order shipment date are not eligible for refund or store credit
- UK: Returns received after 90 days of the original order shipment date are not eligible for refund or store credit
- Items can only be returned if they are unworn, unwashed, undamaged, have the original tags attached, and have the original packaging
- Returns are processed within 7-10 business days upon receipt of the package
U.S. Customers – 3 Return Options
- Store Credit + $2 Bonus: If a return arrives back to Chicwish within 30 days of your shipping date, you can receive both store credit and a bonus of $2 credit.
This is another policy that is not very clear. Chicwish notes that they must receive the return within “30 days of your shipping date,” but doesn’t explain whether that is the date THEY shipped the item to you or the date that YOU shipped the item for a return.
The site further notes that returns can receive store credit for up to 60 days of the original shipment date, indicating that possibly it defines “of your shipping date” as the date you shipped the item back, but it’s not clear.
- Refund to Original Payment Method: You can get a refund back to your original payment method.
- Exchange: Exchanges for another item (different size, color, etc.) must be received within 30 days of the original shipment date.
This is another discrepancy, where the 30-days time limit begins at the original shipment date and not at the date you receive the item, according to the site.
Exchanges are free when using the Chicwish prepaid label.
To initiate returns and exchanges, customers must follow the directions on the Chicwish returns page for their country.
In some countries, such as Canada, customers must pay shipping for their own returns.
Defective Item Policy
If a customer receives a defective item, they should contact Chicwish. The company will ship a replacement item and states that in this case, it is not necessary to return the defective item.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of C for Company Policies
While Chicwish does provide policies for returns, refunds, and exchanges, these policies are not always clear. It would not be surprising for someone to be completely confused about whether their return had to be received within 30 days of their original shipment date or 30 days of their receipt of the item.
That being said, it is helpful that they detail the return policies for each country. And the free returns for US and UK customers is definitely a bonus feature that can’t always be found on other fashion eCommerce sites.
We do appreciate that the site tries to provide information on all policies in detail and offers an additional bonus credit when customers choose store credit. However, we’ve scored them with a C (Okay) for company policies due to these sometimes being confusing for the customer when it comes to the timing requirement of the return.
Customer Shipping Experience
How Long Does Shipping from Chicwish Take?
One of the major complaints that you see often when buyers are shopping at international fashion sites is that shipping takes a long time. This is to be expected when items are shipping from across the globe, especially if shipping is as low-cost as possible.
The main way that companies can mitigate unhappy customers related to long shipping times is to be upfront about how long shipping will take and then meet the promised shipping timeframe.
Chicwish.com clearly explains its shipping related timeframes to shoppers on its Delivery page. This page also includes a dropdown option where people can choose their country and see the estimated shipping cost and delivery times.
It notes at the top that due to COVID-19, there are delays in order deliveries. This is something that all industries have been experiencing during the pandemic, so Chicwish is not alone here. The site notes a potential COVID-19-related delay of an additional 3 to 5 days.
The company ships orders from the U.S., U.K., Belgium, or China, depending upon the item ordered and the destination country.
Import duties are included in the price paid for orders, so customers should not be charged any additional duties. When reviewing Chicwish 3rd party reviews, we did not see any mention of people having to pay duties on shipments.
Delivery time is 3-4 business days processing time + shipping time. Shipping times can be estimated on the website. Going to the U.S., they can be between 4 – 10 days, depending upon the delivery method chosen.
Shipping costs to the U.S. are reasonable, with an estimated cost of $2.90 to $18.00, depending upon the method.
Chicwish does an excellent job of letting the customer know what to expect for both shipping cost and estimated time from order to receiving their package.
What Do Customers Say About Shipping Times?
The review site Sitejabber enables you to search for reviews by keyword, so we searched on “shipping” to see what customers had to say about their shipping experience when ordering with Chicwish.
Here are several review quotes, related to the customers’ shipping experiences:
- “…the shipping time was totally okay (3 weeks in total to Germany)”
- “…although the shipping took forever due to COVID, the dress came and it looked beautiful!”
- “…paid extra for shipping so it would be here in time. It’s now two days before my event and it’s still not here. USPS tracking has said the same thing for over a week.”
- “The clothes shipped quickly and I’m so impressed by the quality…”
- “Shipping time and communication is very poor.”
- “My order came from China and took 23 days during the pandemic.”
- “The shipping does take a little longer to get to Canada, but other than that it is worth the wait!”
Overall, customers appear happy once their orders arrive, but shipments do take a while to reach many locations. As mentioned, the pandemic has caused shipping delays in multiple industries throughout the global supply chain.
There are a few customers that feel shipping was fast, most say it takes a while, but most also are happy to wait because of the quality of the clothing once it arrives. There is a smaller number that doesn’t appreciate the long shipping wait times and some have complained about waiting longer than quoted.
We do feel overall that the company is honest about expected shipping times and COVID-related delays and communicates this information clearly on its site. From the time estimates we read from a few customers, it appears that for the most part orders ship according to the stated timeframe information on Chicwish.com.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of C for Customer Shipping Experience
We have given Chicwish a score of C (Okay) for customer shipping experience. The site gets high marks for being transparent about its shipping times and the COVID-19, related issues. It also goes above and beyond to quote shipping estimates by country and by shipping method.
Customers do, however, do often note the long shipping times, even in positive reviews. Thus, we feel that there is room for improvement, perhaps by stocking more inventory in the U.S. and U.K. locations.
One last note: The shipping quoted on the returns page is 8-12 “business days,” however on the shipping and delivery quote by country for the US (and other countries) it states “days”, not “business days.” This is slightly confusing as to whether the shipping quoted is in calendar days or business days (which don’t count weekends or holidays).
Social Media Activity
Having a social media presence is critical for retailers in this day and age. Fashion retailers in particular need to not only market over social media, customers often expect them to be on social platforms to answer questions and help with customer service issues.
In a social media study conducted in the US by Mintel, social media was the #1 influencing medium for fashion shopping purchases of women 18-24 and it was the #5 for the 25-34 age group. Of all the platforms, Instagram was the one where most users found their fashion inspiration.
Most social media platforms have even overshadowed traditional mediums like fashion magazines when it comes to influencing people on what clothing to buy.
When asked, “Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?”, survey respondent results were:
- Instagram: 56%
- Pinterest: 53%
- TV: 48%
- Facebook: 46%
- Fashion Magazines: 36%
- Snapchat: 26%
- Other: 20%
Our review found that Chicwish is well-versed in social media marketing. The company has an active presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and VK (a Russian social media service).
Chicwish posts regularly and has a healthy number of followers on several of the social platforms. For example:
- Instagram (@chicwish): 812K followers
- Facebook (@chicwish.official): 1,042,021 followers
- Pinterest (@chicwish): 494.8K followers
- Twitter (@chic_wish): 7,689 followers
While the platform doesn’t mention a TikTok or YouTube presence on its home page along with the other social media links, Chicwish is well represented on both platforms. Its partnerships with influencers as well as reviews posted by customers can be found easily on both social video sites by searching “chicwish” or “#chicwish” on either platform.
Image from YouTube search on “chicwish”
Using Social Media Page Optimizations
When researching Chicwish’s Instagram page we also found the company to be adept at utilizing various page optimization, such as categorizing posts according to content category.
Chicwish uses categories to help followers find what they need more easily, such as:
- Try On
- Active Wear
- Knit Wear
- Maxi Skirts
- And more
Image from Chicwish Instagram page
This further illustrates that Chicwish taking full advantage of what social media has to offer when it comes to representing and promoting its brand to shoppers.
Social Media Suggestion – User Engagement
There are not too many suggestions to make about social media presence, since Chicwish is well represented here and provides a model that other companies may want to follow.
One thing we did notice on several of the Instagram posts we reviewed was that Chicwish doesn’t appear to interact with commenters on its posts. While this does take personnel resources to “like” and/or reply to comments and may not be feasible for every comment, liking and replying to some comments could help foster more engagement.
The company may want to consider doing more social media user engagement on its social platforms as makes sense.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of A for Social Media Activity
It’s obvious from the posting regularity, the number of followers on various social platforms, and the quality of content posted that Chicwish is well-versed in promoting its clothing to social media audiences.
It has also fostered multiple relationships with social media influencers that promote its brand on their own pages and expand the company’s social media footprint to platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
For these reasons, we’ve scored Chicwish with an A (Exceptional) for its social media activity.
Online Presence & Website
First impressions are important in any business, and often the first time a consumer interacts with a company is on its website. If that website is poorly designed, hard to navigate, or cannot easily be used on a mobile device, then consumers will quickly leave.
For eCommerce sites, especially, the design needs to be user-friendly, fast, and allow visitors to take a closer look at the products being sold.
Another important factor of online presence is the ability to be found online by those searching for your company or services. This involves a number of content marketing tactics, including search engine optimization and online advertising.
With this information in mind, we’ve reviewed the Chicwish.com website and how easy the fashion retailer is to find when consumers are searching for fashion-related keywords.
Overall, Chicwish has a well-designed site with attractive photos of its products. It also clearly notes its discount and free shipping policies.
The site is easy to navigate both on a computer screen and from a smartphone. Clothing photos can also easily be zoomed in so shoppers can see fine details of the garments. We feel that the firm’s site presents a positive image for this boutique fashion retailer overall.
We did find some areas of improvement needed, such as a few grammatical errors in various areas of the site (such as the About Us page, mentioned above in the Company Profile section). Also, there appear to be two different gift card pages, and one of them only has an option for a $1 gift card.
Strengths of the Chicwish.com website:
- Welcoming home page
- Easy to navigate
- Fast loading & responsive
- Shopping is fluid on desktop or mobile
- Payment methods accepted are clearly stated
- Shoppers can easily find links to shipping and return information
- Products are well represented and can be viewed in larger detail
Areas of improvement for the Chicwish.com website:
- Grammatical errors and use of incorrect English.
- One category from the Accessories Menu, “Sunglasses,” does not have any products.
- The gift card option on the gift card page from the top navigation, under “Accessories” is for just $1. However, when going through an image link on the main page, a different gift card page comes up with more dollar amounts, indicating the link under the Accessories menu may need to be changed.
Good Search Engine Optimization
Keywords for fashion are some of the most competitive online. Searching “womens clothing” on Google brings up over 13.2 billion results. So, it’s difficult for a boutique eCommerce site to appear on the first page of Google organically (not paid) for common fashion-related keywords.
However, when looking at how easy it is for customers to find a company like Chicwish, we often look at different factors, including:
- How does the company’s website listing look on Google (is it optimized?)
- Use of longtail keywords to break into less competitive search spaces
- Other ways the company can be found by shoppers looking for the types of products it sells
What Do You See When Searching “chicwish?”
We took a look at how Chicwish appears when someone searches on the company name directly.
We found that Chicwish is actively bidding on its brand name keyword to ensure it maintains a dominant presence when consumers search for the site. This is a good strategy because we found that another site (justfashionnow.com) was also bidding on “chicwish” as a keyword as illustrated by its paid ad.
On the Google page 1 search results (both paid and organic), Chicwish’s sites (either its website, Amazon store, or social media pages) come up for 6 out of 10 search results. So, people searching for the site would have no problem finding it.
This image from Google illustrates that Chicwish does a great job to “claim their space” on Google for searches on the company’s name.
We further found that Chicwish does optimize the company’s organic search listing. By “optimize,” we mean that it properly structures site pages so that Google will pick up interior pages, such as “Dresses” and “SALE,” (see image below), which provide more options to shoppers to jump directly to the page of their choice.
One suggestion we would make for the Company’s metatags for descriptions is to vary them on each page. Several of them look to have the same description tag (which is the text under the page name in a search result), “Chicwish traces its beginning back to the original idea…” The company could provide more information distinct to each page by editing those according to the landing page.
When it comes to longtail keywords or keywords that might give the website more visibility in Google search results for general fashion-related keywords, we found the following.
Chicwish is optimizing for longtail (multi-word) fashion keywords:
We searched a few different clothing descriptions to see if we could find Chicwish in any of the page 1 Google results. We did find that the company is making an effort to optimize for multiple search terms.
For example, a search on “floral mesh midi skirt” brings up a page 1 result that links to a product at Chicwish. The notation of price and “In stock” indicates that Chicwish is doing an excellent job at properly coding its pages for the search results page.
Another example of great SEO work by Chicwish is when searching, “pink pleated knit dress,” the site has two product images that show up in the #1 and #2 position under “Popular products” on Google, plus another organic search result.
In a very competitive area for Google search terms, Chicwish is holding its own against millions of other online retailers and has learned how to take advantage of SEO areas of opportunity using long-tail keywords.
Areas of opportunity:
The site offers Mommy & Me matching sweaters, swimsuits, and other sets. When we searched “mommy and me sweaters” and “mommy and me swimsuits” on Google and looked at the Shopping Results, we found smaller retailers rather than large multinational or national chains. We did not, however immediately see any Chicwish results on the first page of the results.
This indicates this is a keyword area where Chicwish has an opportunity to optimize its presence.
We see the following as current strengths and opportunities for Chicwish’s online presence.
- Attractive Website
- Fast site and mobile-friendly
- Great use of SEO and paid ads
Areas for Improvement:
- Fix links with no products (sunglasses)
- Fix the gift card page discrepancy
- Review the website for grammatical errors
- Look into optimizing for “mommy and me” fashion keywords
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of B for Online Presence & Website
Chicwish does an exceptional job at promoting its site online through the use of SEO and paid Google ads. It also follows technical best practices to optimize how its website search results are displayed.
However, we found weaknesses when it came to the Chicwish website with some blatant errors with linking and grammar. These are the kind of mistakes that can make a consumer lose confidence in an online retailer pretty quickly.
We have scored Chickwish B for website and online presence due to those website issues that it needs to address. The company is very strong when it comes to being found online in a competitive space.
Unique Value Proposition
What Does Chicwish Offer That Others Don’t?
To stand out in a world of millions of different online fashion retail sites, it takes offering a unique value proposition to customers. This is a combination of the products you offer, the customer support you provide, and offering a unique experience that customers can’t get elsewhere.
Chicwish products fall into a specific category of luxury and sophisticated quality fashion for reasonable prices. It doesn’t try to offer ridiculously low prices like some eCommerce fashion sites do, which lets customers know they can expect quality.
The fashion buyers for Chicwish do a great job of sticking to a distinct look and style so shoppers know exactly what to expect. This both allows them to offer value through products that can’t easily be found elsewhere and provide a consistency that allows customers to easily mix and match different pieces they buy from the site.
The quality of the products, based upon multiple customer reviews that we’ve read online, is one of the value propositions that Chicwish offers that not many other boutique retailers do.
When reading Chicwish reviews, we did not see much mention in positive reviews about customer service. A few mentioned it was helpful, but there were no names, such as “Betsy, was great and helped me with my return.”
We did read many negative reviews that stated they did not receive responses to emails or return requests, and at times the replies received felt like boilerplate responses.
We further found a lack of direct interaction between customer support or the social media team and customers commenting on Instagram posts.
For these reasons, we feel that Chicwish does not offer any significant value proposition over other online retailers in the customer support area.
Following some of the suggestions we’ve made in previous sections of this review, such as replying to customer reviews on 3rd party sites and engaging with followers, would help raise the profile of Chicwish customer support and encourage more personal interaction with customers. It should also ensure it’s answering customer inquires to its site in a timely manner.
Some of the unique offerings that we’ve found at Chicwish.com include free returns for U.S. and U.K. customers. You don’t often find this with online fashion retailers.
The Mommy & Me sets are also a nice touch. When you see these offered by others, it’s often through children’s clothing sites, so it’s refreshing to see them offered on a women’s fashion site.
The connection with social media influencers and bloggers means that there are more opportunities for shoppers and potential customers to see Chicwish clothing close up and “IRL” (meaning, in a real-life setting, rather than just on the website).
This provides an additional value that even many large department stores don’t offer online because shoppers can see what they can expect when they place an order and hear directly from other customers, just like them.
While several companies have customer reviews with photos and videos online, Chicwish has quite a few, and it’s obvious that it nurtures these influencers, relationships due to the consistency of the posts. This benefits customers because they can see even the latest seasonal additions to Chicwish.com in these “haul” and “try-on” videos.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of B- for Unique Value Proposition
Chicwish has positioned itself well with a distinct collection. If someone were to see a set of product images and was familiar with Chicwish’s site, they could easily identify whether or not the styles fit the brand.
There are enough unique offerings for customers to help them differentiate Chicwish from the many eCommerce boutique fashion sites out there. The relationships that the company has forged with bloggers and influencers also set it apart from much of its competition.
The area of weakness we found was in the customer service value that Chicwish offers. We did not see anything that lead us to believe it had outstanding customer service, or that customers feel a connection to the support team at Chicwish.
Looking at each value area for the overall value proposition offered to customers, we’ve awarded the firm a B- (Great) in this area.
How Transparent is Chicwish?
Transparency is about providing clear and upfront information about a retailer’s policies, shipping timeframes, use of information, and return policies, to help shoppers make an informed decision.
Some of the areas of disclosure for an online retail site include:
- Shipping & delivery timeframes
- Requirements for returns and exchanges
- Any costs for shipping or returns
- Where to get help with questions and orders
When reviewing these areas, on Chicwish.com, we found for the most part that the company makes an effort to be transparent and provide shoppers with detailed information on order returns, shipping timing, and shipping and return costs.
Another area where the company is transparent is with its points for reviews program. It makes it clear on the site, with a link in the website footer, that it will award 100 store credit points (valued at $10) for each published review for a maximum of 3 reviews/300 points.
These are reviews posted on Chicwish.com itself, as apparent by the instructional image that is shown on the page, not reviews posted on 3rd party websites.
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of A for Transparency
Chicwish gets high marks for transparency and was awarded an A in this scoring area. We found the site to make an effort to be as detailed as possible about all its policies, including its points for reviews. Not all sites would do the same.
While there is some confusing language on the returns policy page, we didn’t consider this a lack of transparency but saw it more like a consistency of language issue, which we noted in the appropriate section above.
Competitor Comparison Table
Ecommerce retail fashion sites for women are a very competitive area. Chicwish has multiple competitors in this industry from sites in the U.S. and other countries.
That being said, it is important to compare a company with competitors rather than simply looking at the retailer in a silo. When consumers are looking for a place to purchase attractive fashions, they are undoubtedly comparing many different online options. So, it’s vital to know how your online storefront looks when side-by-side with others.
How does Chicwish Compare to other similar online boutique fashion retailers?
Since there is so much competition in this space, we kept our comparison to four similar online retailers. We also looked for retailers that came up alongside Chicwish in a variety of fashion-related keyword searches.
Our reasoning was that we wanted to compare Chicwish with competitor sites that consumers would see along with their site in a Google search result. We did not include major retailers (Macy’s, Walmart, Amazon, etc.) as that would not provide a fair comparison.
Factors We Compared:
- Brand consistency (Does the clothing follow a consistent style? We used an “Excellent” “Good” “Poor” rating system)
- Better Business Bureau Rating (High ratings on the US-based BBB website instill trust in consumers)
- Trustpilot Rating (Consumers often look at 3rd party rating sites like Trustpilot, and may choose higher rated retailers over lower-rated ones)
- Are free returns offered? (Offering free returns gives consumers a sense of trust they can get their money back if they’re unhappy with a purchase)
- Have an Amazon or Etsy shop? (Having a shop on Amazon or Etsy increases visibility and trust with consumers)
- Active on Social Media (An active presence, with posts within the last 10 days, indicates the retailer is continuously interacting with customers.)
For the information below, we sourced details from the retailers’ websites, BBB, Trustpilot, and Instagram, and Facebook. We used three search methods (Google, Etsy, and Amazon) to determine if a retailer had an Amazon or Etsy site. If we were not able to locate it via those methods, we indicated “No.”
Brand consistency is a more subjective rating and is based on whether we felt the retailer had an overarching style or consistency to the fashion it sells.
Competitor Comparison Table | Boutique Women’s Clothing Online-Only Retailers
|Online Fashion Retailer||Brand Consistency||BBB Rating||Trustpilot Rating (Out of 5)||Are Free Returns Offered?||Have an Amazon or Etsy Shop?||Active on Social Media?|
US & UK
US & UK
(Except for defective items)
Competitor Comparison Table | Retailers are listed alphabetically
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of A for Competitor Comparison
We found that Chicwish was very competitive when matched up against similar boutique fashion retail sites. Each of the retailers we chose either came up due to a paid ad (JustFashionNow) or came up organically (all others) alongside Chicwish in fashion-related keyword searches on Google.
Chicwish held its own in all competitor scoring categories. When it came to a weakness, namely the company’s “F” rating at the BBB, it seems that three other retailers also had the same rating, one was not rated, and another was not found on the site at all. Thus, this may not be a strong comparison factor for the consumer.
Overall, the firm is very competitive with its peers in this particular boutique eCommerce space, we’ve scored it with an A (Exceptional).
S.W.O.T. Analysis (Overview)
A S.W.O.T. analysis is an important and highly strategic tool that is used to outline the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing an organization.
The S.W.O.T factors listed below for Chicwish are separated into internal and external influences.
- Strengths and Weaknesses are both internal attributes that are within a firm’s control.
- Opportunities are external factors that a firm can control by taking advantage of them.
- Threats are external factors that a firm cannot control but can prepare for.
In the sections below, we’ll provide an overview of Chicwish to identify specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Two of the biggest strengths for Chicwish are its brand consistency and clothing quality. Ultimately, people only keep coming back if they get what they paid for, and Chicwish products consistently get high marks for quality and looking just like the product photo.
While the retailer does have challenges when it comes to its Better Business Bureau Rating (one of the top ratings U.S. shoppers look for), its other overall ratings on popular 3rd party websites are excellent.
The transparency of the company in relation to its policies (refund, shipping, reviews for points, etc.) helps instill trust in the company.
The company has excellent visibility in a highly competitive space. Its online marketing through social media influencers, SEO, and paid digital ads all work together to help the company stand out.
Lastly, the company having an Amazon shop helps it capture more customers that might only stick to shopping well-known retailers.
There are several missed opportunities when it comes to interacting with customers and social media followers. It’s important in today’s digital world to create connections that foster a better customer experience.
When reviewing recent social media posts, we did not see that Chicwish “liked” or replied to any comments. Not being “social” on social media can cause customers to feel disconnected from a brand and this can leave the door open for another more active brand to step in and forge relationships with those consumers.
We did not find many occurrences of Chicwish customer support responding to customer reviews on 3rd party websites. This can give a negative perception of a brand to potential customers that may be researching the company’s reviews before trusting it enough to order.
When it doesn’t reply to customer reviews, it gives an appearance of not caring if customers have bad experiences and poor customer service. Since we didn’t see many positive comments about “great customer service,” this seems an area that could be improved upon.
The company does not provide any personal details or “story of Chicwish” in much detail on its “About Us” page. There are also grammatical errors on that page and other areas throughout the site that can cause people to mistrust the company.
While shipping is a challenge at the moment for many companies, long shipping times are often mentioned in reviews for Chicwish, and that coupled with a confusing return policy can cause potential customers to lose faith in the site and go elsewhere.
Chicwish could improve its connection with its customers by replying to comments on its social media posts and “liking” comments by followers to let commenters know they’re appreciated.
Additionally, it has an opportunity to improve its online reputation, especially with the Better Business Bureau, if it responded to complaints and reviews. It often only takes a response of an expression of regret for a bad experience and an attempt to make things right, to change negative perceptions to positive ones.
The company additionally could foster brand connection by improving its profile on the site’s “About Us” page. It currently lacks any personal feel as to why the website was started and who started it. Forging a personal connection improves brand loyalty.
Fixing the website issues noted in this review (grammar, gift card page, etc.) as well as clarifying the return policy would improve a shopper’s perception of the retailer right when it matters most… as they’re on the site contemplating a purchase.
Chicwish does a great job with its SEO, but if it wanted to expand in another area where we did not see a page 1 presence, it could optimize for keywords related to the Mommy & Me fashion sets.
While threats describe external elements that are unable to be controlled, being aware of potential threats allows a retailer to successfully plan to counteract them.
Our review identified the following potential threats faced by Chicwish:
- Heavy competition in the industry
- Highly visible bad reviews that can harm the reputation
- Larger retailers (Amazon, department stores, etc.)
- Shipping and supply chain delays
Key Factors That Contributed to Our Score of B for S.W.O.T Analysis
Chicwish helps differentiate itself from its competitors by delivering quality merchandise consistently. It’s a strong competitor in the boutique eCommerce fashion industry and knows how to position itself in a competitive market with SEO, PPC, and other content marketing.
Negative factors have to do with fostering trust with customers and developing relationships, so customers feel more connected to the brand. Customer interaction is a must if you want to keep customers over the long term and have them share your brand with friends and family.
Final Conclusion – Chicwish Investigative Review
Is Chicwish a site you can trust to find quality and affordable fashions?
After thoroughly performing an in-depth review of Chicwish.com we find that the retailer delivers on its promises of fashionable and sophisticated clothing. The products in customer photos that we saw posted in multiple reviews on various 3rd party sites looked identical to the website’s product images in color, quality, and style.
The site is transparent and has no lawsuits that we could find. Overall, it has favorable reviews and star ratings, with the exception of the “F” rating at the Better Business Bureau in the U.S.
While the retailer is adept at social media and digital marketing it could do better when it comes to engaging with customers and customer service. It also would benefit from reviewing its website thoroughly and clearing up confusing language, grammar errors, and any navigation links that don’t make sense.
Most of the areas of opportunity we identified for Chicwish have to do with how it communicates with customers and creates a brand connection. It already has a strong connection with influencers, so this would be a natural extension to engage more with followers and reviewers.
In our final evaluation, Chicwish is a strong competitor in the eCommerce boutique fashion industry and does many things well. With some additional efforts to address areas of opportunity outlined in this review, it could further enhance its standing and brand recognition and continue to gain more customers around the world looking for quality clothing with a unique and sophisticated style.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.