The magic behind every message comes from our talented team. We believe you don't have to be a Wizard at everything–just your thing. Our Employee Spotlight series invites you to take a peek behind the curtain and learn more about our people, what they love about their jobs, and how they’ve grown professionally.
Meet Anne Warren, our Director of Product here at Wizard. She’s an MIT graduate with an impressive career including product management roles at Jetblack, Chase Bank, and Alexander Wang. One of Wizard’s earliest hires, Anne is a product expert whose experience lies primarily in consumer-facing apps and services.
Wizard is a company full of smart, motivating people who all believe in the power of conversational commerce.
I’d previously worked at Jetblack, a conversational commerce startup that was part of Walmart’s Store No. 8 incubator, and I got connected to Wizard through Jetblack’s CEO, Jenny Fleiss. I really believe in the potential of bringing a conversational experience to digital shopping, so I was excited about the vision of Wizard, and thrilled to come back to the space.
The Wizard team is extremely collaborative and thoughtful. It’s a creative group that thinks deeply about the problem we’re trying to solve. As an early stage company, cross-team communication is important. I get a lot of energy from working with the team here, because we all want what’s best for the product and everyone is committed to working together to ensure its success.
There are a few different topics I’m thinking about on any given day. One is product strategy—the long-term vision piece. Is our vision clear? Have we learned something new that changes how we think about the future, or our product roadmap? I spend at least some time every day partnering with engineering on scoping and execution, taking that vision and translating it into what we build and getting products shipped. And then there are collaborative discussions with the CX and Growth teams to get insights from them about what's working, what's not working, and how we can make the consumer or client experience better.
I’d have to say our product guidance capabilities, which is something we’re working on now. For certain merchants, like beauty or wellness brands, we see customers asking for help—not just “do you have this product” but “what do you recommend for wavy hair” and questions like that. And there's a really cool opportunity here for Wizard.
This idea of what makes a good ‘product guidance’ conversation is still relatively untested. The move from in-person ‘traditional’ commerce to e-commerce has been a massive revolution in the ability to access products quickly and efficiently. It's completely changed how people shop. Going to a website when you know exactly what you want is extremely efficient, and much easier than walking into a store and finding what you want, or even going to multiple stores to pick up all the different things you need. But what e-commerce really doesn't solve right now is the experience of going to a store and getting help from someone who knows what products work well for wavy hair. And that’s where I see a huge opportunity for conversational commerce—bringing that type of experience to a scalable digital environment. With recent technological developments, it's becoming a lot more concrete how we might be able to achieve this in a more scalable way.
Last year, during the build-up to Black Friday, we went from one active merchant to nearly 50 and expected a lot of incoming volume, especially considering all the holiday campaigns. So we worked with the ML and engineering teams to quickly spin up automated agents that could do simple flows to handle the inbound volume.
It was pretty impactful in making sure the customer experience was positive and fast. I think being able to very quickly spin that up—to test it in late summer and then start to expand it for Black Friday—made a big impact during a busy time.
The team is awesome! Everyone I work with on a day-to-day basis is such a joy to partner with. It’s a company full of smart, motivated people who all believe in the power of conversational commerce.
This is the first time that I've been at a company in its early stages and able to help to shape the product strategy and vision. Coming in at the beginning was such a cool learning opportunity, and I’m grateful for the chance to work closely with the leadership team. It's also my first time working on a B2B product, so it’s been fun to expand my experience there, too–working with our growth and sales team.
Today, whenever I need to buy some sort of new appliance or tool, I usually check sources like Wirecutter or The Strategist. I would love to be able to text Wizard and get guidance on the best products that meet my needs without having to do a lot of research myself. There are also some things like cat food, and shampoo I reorder regularly. I don’t like subscriptions so I’d love to just get timely reminders and simply reorder directly via text.