How a Group of Ex-Snapchatters Created Cart Technology for Today’s Chatty Shopper


Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been text messaging even more than usual. 

Universally, text messaging is a quick and convenient way to communicate with anyone in your life. The concept of texting and direct messaging isn’t new — but messaging trends have skyrocketed recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s break it down: in the last two years, the average U.S. consumer’s daily screen time increased by almost 50%. During that screen time, 61% of consumers say that the time they spend texting each day has significantly increased due to COVID, and 78% of consumers say that checking, sending, and answering text messages is the activity that takes up most of their screen time. 

So people are texting — a lot. What does this mean for e-commerce? If you’re like 62% of consumers, you’ve likely subscribed to receive texts from at least one business in the last year. Conversational commerce is a great way to build brand awareness and promote products, but many brands use this tactic as a one-way street when it should be a back-and-forth conversation. Brands grab hold of these phone numbers and hang on for dear life — bombing consumers with an influx of text-based promotions. Many people consider text messaging to be their most sacred space to talk to friends and family, leading 60% of consumers to unsubscribe from even their favorite brand’s promotional messages. After all, if they can’t actually communicate with the brand, what’s the point?

Kelly Nyland, a former Snap employee, saw this disconnect and did something about it. Partnering with Rhenee Barlett, Whym’s co-founder, and Ryan Hornberger, both previously of Snap, they set out to redefine conversational commerce and streamline social shopping. And the best part? They did it. 

Read on to discover how this female leadership team has built Whym — one of the most interesting payment companies for the next generation. 

Brands don’t know how to scale two-way conversations

The root of the issue is this: consumers are handing over their phone numbers to brands — which should be a golden ticket for a personalized consumer experience. However, brands are totally missing this powerful opportunity to connect with their customers. 

For example, you buy a new product from your favorite store — a store that you know has your number on file because they text you twice a week with promotions. Eventually, you run out of the product and throw away the packaging. You visit the store’s website to repurchase the product and come up empty. You’re overwhelmed with options, keep getting distracted, and you can’t remember the name of the product you came to the website to search for or which drop-down category the brand assumes you know it will fit in. In a last-ditch effort to secure your product, you reply to one of the brand’s text messages to ask how to repurchase. 

The response? Crickets. 

There truly isn’t a technological reason that this brand can’t respond and immediately solve your problem. The problem is that brands spend millions of dollars trying to acquire you as a customer and then they spend millions more trying to figure out how to get you to buy more, without talking to you.

Enter Whym

Conversation is powerful, and the founders of Whym know it 

While at Snap, Nyland realized the power behind a direct message. She saw first hand how the  messaging screen drove Snapchat’s daily active use, and realized that combining messaging and commerce into a new, two-way experience could create a new frontier for social shopping. After all, the technology is already there — just check your texts.

When thinking about how to frame this new experience, Nyland and the team looked closely at the pitfalls of e-commerce. Along with the major missed opportunities presented by a lack of two-way conversations, e-commerce comes with its fair share of setbacks. The Whym founders quickly discovered that time and clicks are the enemy — capturing a consumer’s intent to buy in the moment and encouraging them to make impulse purchases is essential in the world of online shopping. Website distractions, lengthy checkout processes, and high shipping costs all lead to an online shopper’s dead-end — leaving the shopper frustrated and the brand without a sale. 

Nyland and the team are out to make the e-commerce experience effortless for both the shop and the shopper. After observing the power that text messages and DMs hold, Nyland, Bartlett, and Hornberger have figured out the best way to capture intent-to-buy and fuel impulse purchases, and, no surprise, it all takes place within one back-and-forth conversation. 

With a personalized cart, you can complete a purchase with just one tap 

In order to create the most personalized, seamless shopping experience, the Whym founders are meeting you where you already are. Whym’s cutting-edge cart technology allows shoppers to express intent to buy or bypass all unnecessary checkout steps and pay in one tap.

Whym knows that your time is valuable. That’s why they’ve crafted the most efficient express checkout process. Whym, uses your phone number as your unique user ID, and Apple and Google Pay to auto-fill your info on file. If you’d prefer the traditional method of finding your credit card and entering manually, you can do that, too. But they’ve eliminated passwords and traditional account creation. This means fewer steps for you. The best part? You’re only onboard once — after that Whym remembers your info, so purchases can be completed with just one tap or swipe. 

The best part? Whym’s cart is universal – meaning you have the power to buy from multiple brands in one tap. And if you aren’t quite ready to buy, Whym has a patented Text Me This Item button – so Whym will send you the item, and follow up on a 1:1 basis to ensure you get the products you need. 

Whym has created the most personalized, seamless shopping experience. Shoppers are already having conversations about the brands they love, and those same brands are already texting them. Whym has just taken it one (essential) step further — turning those messages into one-click purchases. 

Whym is set to be the brand of consumer trust for the messaging channel

The founders of Whym know that your time is valuable — just like theirs. That’s why they love direct messaging, and that’s probably why you do, too. By meeting you where you are, brands are able to offer you products that you actually want and need, and you’re more likely to complete the purchase if it can be done easily. And because you’re allowed to change your mind, Whym also allows you to opt-in and out or change the frequency of texts. If you’re reviewing your order, you can change the items in your cart without going back to the brand’s website or logging into your account again. This means fewer website distractions and more time saved for you, and fewer abandoned carts, and more sales for shops. 

If you are wondering how Whym can help streamline your social shopping experience, schedule your free demo today. The team behind Whym is out to make e-commerce simple for both shops and shoppers. Find out what this could mean for your brand today


Whym is an intent to buy platform transforming the way we shop and sell online. Brands trust Whym’s tools to capture more first-party data and shopper intent across their selling channels. For shoppers, Whym’s wishlist provides an organized and personalized shopping experience—helping browsers collect, save and rediscover their favorite products anywhere online. No matter how your shoppers find you, Whym makes sure they don’t forget you.

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