Anyone with an online store knows there are many ways to make money. Most of them are focused on increasing site traffic, improving conversion rates, or convincing existing customers to come back and make more purchases.
It’s not easy to find a tool that meets all of these needs, but wishlists are a perfect example.
Throughout this article, we will go over what wishlists actually are. We will see what benefits they can bring to your eCommerce, how to add them to a site built on WordPress and WooCommerce, and what aspects we need to keep in mind when using them.
You’ll find that both understanding how it works and implementing it in your online store is extremely simple, so let’s start by defining what a wishlist is.
Table of contents
- What is a Wishlist?
- Benefits of Wishlists on WooCommerce
- The Best Wishlist Plugin in WooCommerce
- 10 things you shouldn't underestimate about the power of wishlists
What is a Wishlist?
You can find the wishlist feature on many eCommerce sites but it became popular thanks to Amazon. Simply put, wishlists allow customers to add products to a list for a future purchase. In addition, some sites (such as Amazon itself) allow users to share their wishlists with loved ones, simplifying the process of purchasing gifts for events like birthdays or Christmas.
It’s easy to see how it works, right? It’s also easy to think of the benefits you can get by adding this feature to your store. We’ve put together a list with the top 5 reasons why you should add the wishlist feature to your eCommerce store.
Benefits of Wishlists on WooCommerce
In the next section, we’ll go over five benefits of adding the wishlist feature to your eCommerce site. But if you prefer to watch a video on this topic, we’ve included a link to our channel’s YouTube Short.
For those who like to read instead, here’s how the wishlist can benefit your online shop.
1st Reason: Increases Customer Engagement
Traditionally, when a customer comes into your store, they have two options: buying a product or leaving the site. Wishlists, however, offer a different alternative, allowing customers to save products to buy later, potentially recovering future sales, and providing a unique browsing experience.
It is also common for users to visit the site even when they don’t want to buy anything and simply want to browse the catalog out of curiosity and save products that interest them.
Additionally, this is related to the principle of Commitment and Consistency: an involuntary mechanism that makes us confirm a previously expressed interest, increasing the likelihood of converting products saved in the wishlist.
2nd Reason: Promotes Sharing and Increases Traffic
Getting new customers to your website can be difficult. You often have to dedicate time and resources on SEO or use promotional tools on Google and social media.
While these options all work, it’s worth noting how much traffic can increase by adding a basic shareable wishlist to your site.
In fact, frequent customers usually share their wishlists with their friends and family, who then register and make purchases for birthdays or Christmas.
Of course, this creates a win-win situation where new users use the wishlist feature and attract even more customers to the online store.
3rd Reason: Collects Valuable Data for Your Business
This is something that is often underestimated, but from a marketer’s point of view, wishlists are an element of analysis that should not be overlooked.
For example, knowing that a particular product is on hundreds of wishlists allows you to extract some data: there is certainly interest in this item, but the price may be a major factor in discouraging buyers.
In this situation, you can easily boost sales by offering a targeted promotion on the most popular product in your wishlists.
In addition, this type of analysis can help you understand market trends and profile your customers to see what products they are most interested in and whether they share common patterns or not.
4th Reason: Powerful Marketing Tool
After completing this analysis, you can use wishlists to drive marketing campaigns — previous research has shown that such promotions can increase conversions by 37%.
Need some examples of Wishlist-born strategies? Look no further, you can:
- Offer discounts to those who share their wishlist on social media.
- Send birthday notifications, including any promotions on products added to the wishlists.
- Notify customers of product availability, as they may add products to their wishlist when they are out of stock.
- Create targeted discounts and promotions based on the popularity of the products in wishlists.
Of course, there are many other options out there, but this tool can certainly be a great help for your sales.
5th Reason: Improves User Experience
We have already seen how wishlists can improve customer experience in your store, in this regard, don’t make it hard for users to add products to wishlists, make sure the button to add or remove a product is easy to find. Also, make sure that the wishlist is easily found in the customer control panel.
That said, wishlists improve user experience (or UX) in many ways: they reduce purchase anxiety by giving customers time to consider their choices so they’re not associated with negative emotions; they reduce browsing time on second visits because products are already saved, so the first minute on the site (the most important moment to getting a sale) is immediately effective.
But they also just give people the ability to find the products they are interested in without having to memorize them or search through their browsing history (or without saving them in their shopping cart, making them unavailable for other purchases).
The Best Wishlist Plugin in WooCommerce
It’s easy to see why wishlists are a great addition to online stores, but how hard is it to add this feature to your WooCommerce store? You’ll be happy to know this can be done in just a few clicks.
All you need to do is get a dedicated plugin. We recommend the WooCommerce Wishlist plugin, which has a free version you can try out before possibly buying the premium version.
After downloading the YITH WooCommerce Wishlist plugin, simply install it on your WordPress site to start using it. When activated, the plugin displays a button for customers to save their favorite products on their wishlist:
This is done with an icon that your users will immediately recognize, minimizing the time needed to learn how to use it.
As for the seller, the plugin provides a perfect overview of all the wishlists created in their store:
Clicking on each wishlist, you can see the products included in it and when they were added:
To sum up: the process is very easy and intuitive, both for the customer and for the seller.
You now have a complete understanding of wishlists, but we want to remind you not to underestimate this tool. Here are ten key points to keep in mind.
10 things you shouldn’t underestimate about the power of wishlists
Why is this feature so important? Why is it showing up in so many online stores? Let’s examine ten points that explain its success:
- Reduce abandoned carts – Note that, abandoned shopping carts are one of the worst nightmares for anyone who does business online. While most people who go to a physical store proceed to buy (there’s a kind of embarrassment in leaving without buying), this is unfortunately not true for online stores. On the contrary, most people who access your eCommerce store will not buy on their first visit.So here you are hoping for the return of all those first-time visitors, which is easier said than done. Wishlists can be a great way around this problem: by giving users the option to save items for future purchases, they won’t lose interest in between visits and will be more likely to convert later.
- Customer behavior analysis – Another important aspect: a store is successful when its owner knows exactly what their customers want and gets rid of all the obstacles in their way. That’s why all the analysis tools are invaluable, and wishlists are one of them: preference patterns, costs too high, similarities between products and categories… all these elements can help you define promotional strategies.
- Demand forecast – Wishlists have a significant impact on both promotional strategies and product selection. To make better-informed decisions about future stocking, you can identify a spike in interest in a particular product. Additionally, identifying products that appear frequently across multiple wishlists can help predict potential stock shortages.
- Targeted promotions – Vendors can use wishlist data to create targeted promotions and discounts based on customers’ interests.Let’s take a simple example: for your store’s anniversary, you want to offer a 25% discount on a specific product. For that, you can choose the product you know your customers want based on its popularity on their wishlists.
- Win customers back – Inviting customers to return to the store and check out items on their wishlist can be a powerful tool for customer retention. Additionally, wishlists not only facilitate the return of old customers but also help attract new ones by sharing them with family and friends.This way, customers can become sort of affiliates without commission percentages — which is a dream for any seller.Also, adding products of different value to the wishlists allows meeting people with all kinds of budgets, without it becoming a tough issue to deal with. This is why users with wishlists usually add multiple products to their cart, not just one or two.
- Seasonality and trends – Wishlists can help stores identify seasonal trends, allowing them to adjust their marketing and inventory strategies in real time.Today’s delivery times are faster than they used to be. However, it is crucial to be ready for a sudden increase in business. Being unprepared can cause financial and image damage, as well as the potential loss of customers.For example, let’s say you own a clothing store and you see that more and more users are adding certain swimsuits to their wishlists during the early spring months. This gives you a perfect overview of the sales you can expect in a few months and it’s your opportunity to increase the stock of certain items at the expense of others that would remain in stock indefinitely.
- Gifts and group purchases – Wishlists make gift shopping easier by allowing friends and family to buy exactly what the recipient wants, increasing customer satisfaction and product sales.This may seem like a minor aspect, but do not underestimate it: if a gift is well received, it can lead to more customers. Imagine if, for every birthday and Christmas of each of your users, all the people who know them buy in your store: the turnover generated would certainly be impressive.
- Customer loyalty – Wishlists provide a personal experience that can increase loyalty by making customers feel that the store cares about their wishes and preferences.These are the most successful marketing tools: those that customers see as an additional service. Over time, the ability to add products to a wishlist will become less of a luxury and more of a need.If a tool is used by the world’s largest eCommerce portal (aka Amazon), you can be sure that all your customers are familiar with it and will use it regularly. Not offering this feature in your store would certainly count as a disadvantage.
- Reduce returns – Customers who take more time to consider the items on their wishlist are less likely to make impulsive purchases that they may later regret.This has an impact on multiple levels: it saves money on shipping and repurchasing goods, reduces the time your team spends handling refund requests, increases customer satisfaction, and minimizes economic losses from returned products that can no longer be sold as new.While most strategies focus on closing a sale as soon as possible before it is effectively lost, wishlists shift the mindset and prioritize a lasting relationship with customers over time.
- Increase in the Average Order Value (AOV) – Wishlists can help increase the average order value by encouraging customers to make additional purchases when they return to buy saved products.When opening a wishlist and seeing a list of products that one is interested in, it is common to create multiple orders. This not only increases the average value of the customer but also the potential value of each order.
We have come to the end of this in-depth look at wishlists and what they can bring to your online store. We understand that there is still some skepticism, as it is a relatively new feature (although it’s been used by the big names in the industry) and one of the great opportunities offered by the shift to digital stores.
It’s known to all that wishlists are now an essential feature in online stores, so there is an increasing need to offer this feature to match the competition.
Luckily, this need comes with several benefits, including increased sales, higher customer satisfaction, greater average user value, and increased organic traffic to your site as a result of sharing wishlists.
Wishlists are not just a seasonal tool, but they can also be used for many other occasions throughout the year (such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and more).
But even if you still have doubts after reading this article, what better way to clear them up than by testing the feature yourself? Let us remind you that there is a free demo that you can try out to simulate the wishlist functionality on a site (from the point of view of both the customer and the seller), and there is a free version with limited functionality that you can try directly and without any obligation on your own store.
You can find both options on the plugin page by clicking on “LIVE DEMO” or “GET THE FREE VERSION”.
What are you waiting for? Get your customers to save the products they’re interested in, share them, and gift them to their family and friends, and increase sales along the way!