Definition: Wish lists are collections of desired products saved by customers to their user account, signifying interest without immediate intent to purchase.

Offering wish lists is an effective way to reduce shopping cart abandonment and fulfill sales from customers who showed intent but didn't end up purchasing. Wish lists are mutually beneficial: they give customers an easy way to remind themselves of a product and help merchants measure product interest beyond a clear-cut sale.

How wish lists drive sales and engagement

Wish lists and mobile technology

As the number of shoppers using mobile devices to research and order online continues to grow, wish lists will become more relevant to the ecommerce experience. Just over half of all U.S. consumers will use a mobile device to research merchandise during the holiday season. Of these customers, 59 percent state they will use their tablet or smartphone to help make direct online purchases.

Retain leads

Wish lists are a middle ground between purchasing and forgetting: oftentimes, shoppers aren't ready to order, but want to remember the product and/or store for the future. Wish lists can encourage users to sign up for an account who wouldn't have otherwise; these prospects can then potentially be engaged in drip marketing campaigns if they opt-in for email notifications.

Out of stock products

When you run out of stock on a particular product, wish lists allow visitors to track the item's status. It can also inform how much inventory to compile: products popular on wish lists have a higher likelihood to . Once the product is back in supply, customers who saved it to their wish list receive a notification.

Sale items

This process is also applicable to items that go on sale. For example, ModCloth informs its site users when clothing and accessories in wish lists are featured at lower prices. This is an excellent method for re-engaging customers who exhibited both interest and hesitation to purchase.


Shopping online for friends and family is simpler with wish list functions. Once a wish list is complete, the creator can send it to friends and family in anticipation of holidays, birthdays or life events. If a consumer is unfamiliar with an ecommerce store's products and would like to buy an item as a gift, he or she may not know where to start. Rather than walking into a brick-and-mortar store and discussing options with a sales representative, these buyers can refer to wish lists on ecommerce sites to better understand what items they should be purchasing.

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