Wish lists: what they are and 5 ways to get the most out of them to get more clients


A wish list gives you more opportunities to make more sales.
It’s as simple as that.
Is the problem that you don’t know what a wish list is?
Not to fear – not only will we tell you all about what it is, in depth, but also how to use wish lists to sell more (and improve your user experience, SEO, etc. 😉
Don’t miss a single comma because this article is loaded with useful information just for you.

What is a wish list?

A wish list is a feature that allows users to save a list of products they are interested in so they can buy them later.
But why would users be interested in that?

  • Easier to find: You suddenly come across an item you love on your phone, but you don’t have your credit card with you so you can’t buy it. You’re sure you want it but not sure you’ll find it later – add it to your wish list.
  • Comparisons: You’re considering different items in an online shop, so you save them to your wish list to have them handy.
  • Future presents: You’re a fan of a shop and you love some of their products, but it’s just not the right time to buy them. What you do is add them to your wish list to have the option when you feel like treating yourself (or when someone asks you what they can get you as a present).

Mind you, a wish list is completely different than a shopping cart.
When customers add items to their cart, they’re usually planning on getting them right then and there (they’re starting a purchase), whereas when they add them to their wish list, they’re not planning on buying – yet.
That’s something to keep in mind since a wish list is sort of the halfway point between completing a purchase and forgetting about it (no worries, though, below we’ll share some ideas to help avoid forgetting it).

Why your e-commerce should have a wish list

It’s obvious, right?
Having a wish list helps you increase your conversion rate because it contributes to more purchases being carried out.
But that’s not the only advantage.

✅ 1. For your users: improved customer experience

The more at ease users feel in your e-commerce, the better their customer experience is. And the better their customer experience is, the more likely they are to buy something.
A wish list is a good ally in this sense because: 

  • It simplifies the purchase process: Adding a product to your wish list is an easy way to save items “for later” and find them easily without having to search for them again.
  • It allows you to compare prices: As we saw earlier, you can create lists in different online shops if you’re looking for the best price on different sites.
  • People can share their lists: This option is growing in popularity since people may share their list as gift suggestions for guests coming to a social event (like a wedding registry).

Check out how they do it at Finnish Design Shop:
Para que sirve una wish list
Don’t forget that anything that makes your customers feel at ease on your website is good for your business since you’re facilitating their purchase (even if they’re not going to complete it in that particular moment).

✅ 2. For your business: better SEO and more leads

Apart from increasing sales, having a wish list is interesting for other business-related reasons:

  • It increases the time spent on your site: Users spend more time visiting your e-commerce (which is good for your SEO because it decreases your bounce rate).
  • You get your clients’ contact details: They’ll have to create a user account with their email to create a wish list, which enables you to launch different email marketing campaigns.
  • It reduces the abandoned carts rate: If you don’t have an active wish list, your potential customer may be using the cart to “save” items. This affects the abandoned cart rate. If the items are on a wish list, they don’t count as abandoned carts.
  • It avoids “ghost orders”: When clients add items to their carts, they are removed from the shop’s available stock since they’ve been “reserved” for sale. However, a product on a wish list remains available for sale in case another customer actually wants to buy it.

NOTE: It is essential for users to be able to move items from their wish list to the shopping cart with one single click.
Remember, you want to make things as easy as possible for customers. 😉

5 ways to use a wish list to increase sales (with ideas and examples)

Let’s take a look at a few examples and ideas to get the most out of your e-commerce’s wish list.

✅ 1. Wish list as a tool to capture leads

A wish list can become a good way to improve the e-commerce conversion rate of your sales funnel.
We saw earlier that on some websites, you have to register to save products to your wish list. That’s not the only way to do it, however.
Take a look at Dharma Bums, an e-commerce that sells yoga clothes.
You can add any items you like to a wish list in their store even if you don’t have a user account (to facilitate it, the wish list button is highly visible next to each product card).
However, when you’re about to leave the page, you’ll see a pop-up message with the option to save your wish list – in exchange for your email address
Wish list ecommerce
And, as you know, once you’ve gotten a potential customer’s email address, you can start sending them emails. 😉

✅ 2. Wish lists to overcome lack of stock

Stock-out happens when you can’t ship the product a client has ordered because you have no items left, so you lose that sale.
According to a study by the shipping company UPS, 41% of users resort to the competition when an item is out of stock in an online store.
A wish list can help you reduce those lost sales.
You can tell them to save a product to their wish list and they’ll see when it’s back in stock, as they do at Finnish Design Shop.
que es y para que sirve una wish list
But you can go a step farther and email users when the product is actually available with a call-to-action button so they can make the purchase immediately.
In that case, making the purchase is only one click away.
BONUS: Read this post to learn how to optimize your logistics system so your clients really appreciate your delivery service.

✅ 3. Wish list as social proof

In marketing, social proof consists of providing indecisive users with evidence that people like them have made the same purchase they’re considering.
In practice, it comes down to showing the opinions of customers who have already purchased the item in order to convince the current shopper to make the purchase.
The opinions of satisfied customers can be the final push for an indecisive customer teetering on the verge. 
Check out how Swak Designs uses wish lists as social proof. Each item shows the number of people who’ve added it to their wish list.
Wish list o lista de deseos
This is a simple way of highlighting the most popular items in an e-commerce shop with the pull factor of social proof as an added advantage.

  • They sell better and feature more reviews by buyers.
  • Potential customers find the brand more trustworthy.
  • They catch the attention of new users.

We recommend reading this post about getting more reviews for your items if you’d like to learn to use social proof to your e-commerce’s advantage.

✅ 4. Wish list as a source of data

As we explained in this post about web analytics, data is the foundation of every marketing strategy
Going through your “most-wished” products allows you to analyze some very interesting points.

  • Promote these products to sell more: These products are your bestsellers. Promote them more often, place them on your homepage, implement cross-selling with them, etc.
  • Wished but not bought: If these products have a low conversion rate, there must be something wrong. Double check for technical problems, usability, product cards, etc.

For example, if you see that the cause is the high price, you can send a push notification or an email to interested users to make them a special offer for that item.

✅ 5. Wish list as a tool to foster customer loyalty

We’ve already mentioned several times why it’s easier (and more profitable) to sell items to someone who’s already bought from you in the past.
Users often go back to the online shops where they’ve created wish lists in order to search for new articles or check the status of the items they added before (and finish the purchase).
Besides, as we said above, by getting their email address, you can implement:

Once you’ve gotten their email, you’re one step closer to getting another sale.

Are you ‘wishing’ to having a wish list for your e-commerce?

As you’ve seen, not only do wish lists improve user experience, but they can also become an excellent tool to increase sales.
So, get to work to start turning your potential customer’s wishes into sales for you and your business. 😉