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Give Shoppers a Reason to Return With a Wishlist

A good wishlist experience can drive sales, engagement, and retention. In this chapter, we’ll discuss the benefits and how you can use wishlist data to improve the customer experience.

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Nikita Vidhyalankar
Associate eCommerce Analyst

Swym is a shopper engagement platform used by over 25,000 eCommerce merchants to create optimized shopping experiences.

A good wish list experience can help you drive sales, engagement, and retention. In this chapter, we’ll discuss the benefits of wish lists for your eCommerce site, and how you can use their data to improve the customer experience — along with your bottom line.

How wishlists drive sales, engagement, and retention

Wishlists are extremely powerful tools for brands. In fact, research from Google shows that 40% of shoppers think their shopping experience would be better if retailers offered a wishlist where they can save items that they’re interested in.

Consumers use wish lists for a variety of reasons. They may be considering a product, but they’re not ready to buy it. Or, an item is out of stock in their preferred color or size, and they want to remember it so they can purchase it when it’s back in stock. They may also be creating a wish list to share with friends and family for special occasions, like birthdays.

No matter the reason they create it, that wishlist is a powerful marketing tool for brands. Here are some ways you can leverage wishlists to boost sales.

  • Send emails and text alerts: You can send communication to customers who have wishlisted an item to let them know if the item stock is low, if it’s back in stock, or if the price drops, or you can message them as a reminder to check out.
  • Remarketing on search and social media: You can serve product remarketing ads to consumers who have wishlisted an item.
  • Product recommendations: You can deliver related product recommendations, like a similar product that’s in stock in their preferred size, or one that’s lower in price.

Those who add your products to their wishlist are further along in the sales funnel than those who are just browsing, and you already know which items they like. A targeted message could be just the thing that gets them to convert.

Tools like Wishlist Plus offer eCommerce brands easy plug-ins, customization, and other features. No matter which tool you choose for your site, you want to make sure that it integrates well with your current shopping platform and third-party apps.

Get insights about your customers’ behavior and anticipate stock levels with wishlists

The #1 thing you get from customer wish lists is data. You collect data from every user who visits your store, but if they don’t make a purchase, you don’t really know what they want. With wishlists, you get to look deeper. And when you look deeper into thousands of customers at once, patterns emerge, and they can better inform your product marketing.

Let’s say 150 customers wishlisted your item, and only 5 of them purchased it. You can then experiment with different product descriptions, price points, or offers to see what makes them convert. Then you can take those learnings and apply them across your store.

You can also use wishlists to plan stock levels. For example, if it’s November and 250 people add an item to their wishlist, that probably means they are either buying it for someone else or they want someone to buy it for them, and they’re going to do it in the next month. Then you can assess whether you have enough of that item in stock, or if you need to order more.

The more you know about your customer’s behavior and preferences, the better you’ll be able to deliver superior customer experiences. And that translates to higher brand loyalty and more sales.

6 ways to create a good wishlist experience

Wishlists come in all shapes and sizes, but there is some basic functionality they should all have in order to create a good customer experience. Here are the six most important things to focus on.

Make your wishlist easy to use

Adding a product to their wishlist must be easy with just one click. It needs to be conveniently placed so that it creates a seamless shopping experience.

Ensure the wishlist is easily accessible

The customer’s wishlist should be accessible from anywhere on the website, not just a designated wishlist area. This can be achieved with floating icons on all pages or header menus.

Your wishlist must be mobile-friendly

A majority of eCommerce visits happen on a mobile device, so it is imperative that your wishlist module be compatible with all devices — be it a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.

Don’t gate the wishlist

Resist the urge to make customers become members and log in to use the wish list; anonymous users should also be able to access the functionality. We see a significant increase in customer engagement on sites that don’t hide features behind login.


Enable easy wishlist sharing

If a customer creates a birthday wishlist, they need to be able to share it with friends and family via email or text. Share buttons with options for different platforms can make this more user-friendly.

Connect with social media

Social share buttons are also essential, especially when it comes to engagement and retargeting. Store owners can use wishlist data for targeted ad campaigns based on a customer’s shopping history.


Wishlists are a win-win for brands and consumers alike. Brands get important data and targeted marketing opportunities, and consumers get to keep track of items that they want to buy later. Smart implementation and leveraging of insights will ensure that your customers come back to complete their purchases (or get someone else to do it for them!)