How to Use Wish Lists for Your E commerce Store

How to Use Wish Lists for Your E-commerce Store

Running an E-commerce store is an art. Many people buy online because of convenience but convincing your store’s visitors to purchase from you and not from your competitors can be a daunting task. There are several tricks and techniques you can use to increase visitor conversion. In the last article, we looked at how you can use scarcity and urgency in your E-commerce store to boost conversions. Another great technique to increase engagement and purchases is to use wish lists.

What are wish lists?

A wish list just as the name suggests is a collection of products that customers wish for or want to purchase. Wish lists allow customers to create a personal collection of products that they are interested in. They may not have the intent to purchase the product immediately and allow them to save the product to purchase later. It saves users time when they come back to purchase the item, by allowing them to simply access it from the wish list rather than searching for it again. It also serves as a reminder that they were interested in those products.

Importance of wish lists

Here are 7 ways in which wish lists help your business.

1. Improves customer shopping experience

If customers like a product on your store but are unable to commit to purchasing at that very moment, a wish list is a great tool to allow them to save the product and purchase it later. If they don’t have the option of a wish list, it can sometimes be difficult to come back and search for the same product. Users accessing your store from mobile phones will particularly find this appealing, as it will save them a lot of time on a smaller screen.

2. Retain leads

Getting visitors to come to your store is a mountainous task in itself. If customers like a product on your store and leave without purchasing it, the chance of them coming back to purchase the product is low. Wish lists can encourage users to sign up for an account. If they create an account on your store and add items to their wish list, you can easily send them reminders that they were interested in the product.

3. Deal with out of stock items

Often customers can like a product that may be currently out of stock. Having customers add out of stock products to their wish lists can allow them to track the status of the products. You can easily notify them when the product is back in stock. You can replace the add to cart button for out of stock items with an add to wish list button. Once customers have added the products to their wish list you can simply notify them when items are back in stock.

4. Clear out remaining stock faster

If customers have added products to their wish list you can easily judge the popularity of the product. Sometimes it can be difficult to clear the last few remaining items. You can easily notify customers who have added these products to their wish list that the items are low in stock. This can create scarcity and urgency thereby encouraging purchases and clearing stock faster.

5. Alert customers about offers

It takes a lot for a customer to actually commit to a purchase. Customers have various reasons for abandoning online purchases. You never know if they simply got distracted, did not have enough trust in your store or any other reason for them abandoning a purchase. Sometimes customers will add products to their wish list instead of purchasing. It might just be they need some time before they can purchase. To encourage purchases you can offer discounts to people who have products in their wish list. This can create the fear of missing out and easily convert visitors to paying customers. If the discount is for a limited time it can also create scarcity and urgency.

6. Judge popularity of an item

The 80/20 rule also applies to E-commerce stores, where 20% of your products will generate 80% of your sales. Knowing which items are popular and being added to wish lists can help you tailor marketing campaigns to promote the already popular items.

7. Attract more visitors

If customers can share their wish lists on social networks, email and messaging apps such as WhatsApp it becomes a great way of promotion. It’s an inexpensive way of advertising. It will also add to the confidence of new visitors as they will be coming to your store because of someone they know. It is always easier to sell to someone who has heard about you or your brand before than a first-time visitor to your store, who has never heard about your brand.

Cons of wish lists

1. Sometimes wish lists can act as a distraction. This is because there will be multiple call to actions on your product page. Should they add to cart or add to wish list? They can encourage users to save products in lists rather than actually buying them.

2. Sometimes customers will add products to their wish list and wait for storewide sales before purchasing. Many users tend to utilize wish lists before events such as Black Friday. This leads to some lost revenue through discounts.

3. Implementing wish lists can be challenging for designers. Do you use an icon or a word? Where exactly do you place the add to wish list or save for later buttons? How much screen space do you allocate? Over the last few years with the advent of smartphones, the number of E-commerce sales from mobiles has increased. Mobile phones have smaller screens and an add to wish list button can easily take up a chunk of space on a mobile phone.

There are several ways to combat the few cons of wish lists. For example, you can only allow adding to wish list for out of stock products to stop it from being a distraction. Lost revenue through discounts can sometimes be insignificant.


As discussed above the advantages of wish lists outweigh and outnumber the disadvantages. Overall they are a great way to collect data and encourage sales. You should use wish lists on your E-commerce store if you have a wide variety of products, your customers tend to take some time before purchasing and you can run marketing campaigns.

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