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Image via Wish
Image via Wish

Last year, analysts estimate Amazon did about $180 billion in gross merchandise volume. But a startup selling cheap smartwatches and knockoff watches thinks it can beat the e-commerce giant to selling $1 trillion of merchandise a year by using smarter advertising and targeting shoppers Amazon may miss.

In a profile on Re/code, Wish CEO Peter Szulczewski is confident his platform that allows merchants to sell directly to consumers will continue its current growth, putting it on par with Amazon and Alibaba.

“We think we’re going to be the second or third trillion-dollar-a-year marketplace,” Szulczewski told Re/code. “We think Alibaba will be first and then it’s either us or potentially Amazon depending on how quickly, or if, they win in India.”

In order to do that, Wish uses machine learning algorithms to place ads in front of just the right people on social media and search results. It also uses a direct-to-consumer model that makes merchants ship directly to buyers, allowing for much cheaper prices at the expense of three-week waits for items.

Check out Re/code for the full story, detailing the company’s history as an advertising startup and wishlist app maker before hitting on e-commerce.

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