Free Conversation

The Importance of Wishlists for Shopify Store Marketing

17 April 2022
The Importance of Wishlists for Shopify Store Marketing

When building a relationship with your customers, the personal touch is the single most powerful tactic you can use. For Shopify brands, one of the easiest ways to personalize it is by adding a wishlist feature to your store. This can be done with the addition of one or more wishlists modules adding this pre-existing functionality to your brand’s store experience.

Wishlists for Shopify Stores

So what exactly is a wishlist for your Shopify store? A wishlist is a list of products that customers like and might buy in the future. These items can be easily found without searching the site. They can save preferences like size and color, and they can easily be added to the live cart at any time.

Customers use wishlists in many different ways, so it’s important to have a flexible wishlist design. Some use wishlists for big-ticket items they might save up for – or ask for as gifts. Some use them to shop ahead when they find something cool that they don’t need right now but want to buy later in the year. Many use wishlists as a gift shopping tool to get ahead of birthdays and holidays.

But the potential of wishlists for your Shopify-powered brand goes far beyond just how customers intend to use them. They are CRM and programmatic marketing gold.

Wishlists Allow Customers to Shop Ahead

First, wishlists save customers time. They allow them to use one shopping/searching session to find more than just what they can or want to buy today. This is especially useful for brands that sell items that go beyond necessity. Decorations, luxury items, and toys are all items that are great for wishlists because customers will want them just as much next month.

Wishlists let customers save time because when they’re ready to come back for another purchase, those items are pre-shopped and waiting for them. You can also remind customers through your up-selling UI and even email newsletters to come back for their wishlist items, knowing that you are featuring things they truly want to buy.

Wishlists are a Gold Mine for Personalized Marketing

Of course, the real value of wishlists for your marketing goals lies in the data they contain. A populated wishlist can tell you so much more about a customer’s preferences and motivations than their basic search and buying history. A wishlist tells you what customers really want but haven’t yet worked up the motivation or funds to buy for themselves.

CRM Data Gold Mine

Oh, the things you can learn from a wishlist! Wishlists are a wealth of information on customer shopping motivations.  Consider a wishlist of clothing items, already pre-shopped to the correct size and favored colors. You now have double or greater the data to determine a customer’s size, favorite color, and preferred style.

You can learn a customer’s favorite brands. Between the shopping cart and wishlist, you can see where their price point lies. Or the line between practical purchases and whimsical wants. Wishlists give your programmatic marketing the added data it needs to really personalize what motivates customers, and what they desire beyond what they choose to buy.

Deals on Items in the Wishlist

When it comes to offering personalized deals, wishlists are a gold mine. When formulating email deals that customers want to come back and shop for, most people can’t resist a wishlist item that is suddenly on sale. Perhaps on sale just for them, because the item is on their wishlist.

This is a motivation both to build wishlists and to love a brand that gives each customer exactly what they want. You can let customers know when a wishlist item is on sale. Design personalized discounts based on wishlists that will delight and attract return customers again and again.

Informed Upselling from Wishlist Items

You can also upsell your customers with their own wishlist items! People can easily forget what they have pre-shopped for themselves. When shopping for t-shirts, remind customers of shirts they’ve already wishlisted that are of higher quality and pre-selected in their favorite colors. You can also use the wishlist to better inform your programmatic upselling for new or unseen items.

An Excuse to Touch Base

A wishlist is also a constant personally-relevant excuse to touch base with customers. Customers will feel that you are sending a personal message when you tell them a wishlist item is on sale right now, or back in stock and finally available for purchase. They’ll even feel grateful when you mention a wishlist item is no longer available – but here are a few similar items that might replace that item in their heart and shopping cart.

Reminders to Shop the Wishlist

When a customer builds a wishlist, they are asking to be kept up to date on it. The occasional reminder to shop their wishlist will be seen as friendly, even if it’s a long-term plan and they’re not ready to buy yet. Reaching out about the wishlist is often seen as a brand taking a personal interest in customers rather than pestering them about coming back to buy.

“Do you still want the Turbo Robot Dragon? This little guy is waiting in your wishlist ready to be adopted” your email might say. Or perhaps “Those pinstripe pants in your cart would look perfect with the Dark Pinstripe Blazer on your wishlist. Would you like to build this outfit?”

Reminders to shop the wishlist are a friendly way to reach out. Remind your customers to keep their wishlists up to date.

Making Use of Multiple Wishlists

Now let’s talk about advanced wishlist strategy. One of the best additions to a simple wishlist is to allow your customers to build multiple, possibly sharable, named wishlists. When customers can name their wishlists, they will sort and pre-shop for themselves – and others – to your marketing benefit and theirs.

People will use multiple wishlists to gift-shop for others and treat-shop for themselves.

Holiday Wishlists

Holiday wishlists allow customers to shop ahead and use your wishlist as a planning tool for holidays. They may build a matching set of holiday decor and table settings months before they plan to buy for the event. This increases activity on your website and increases the chance they will do their holiday shopping with your brand.

Make use of holiday wishlists to build bundle deals and provide matching product suggestions as the holiday-in-question approaches. For example, you might provide a “gift basket” of holiday wishlist items in a bundle deal to inspire customers to buy more items and return to complete the wishlist purchase whole-cloth.

Public Wishlists

After holiday wishlists, public wishlists are among the most powerful. Especially if your brand includes social media style profiles and interactions. A public wishlist can A) inspire other shoppers, and B) inspire gifts purchased for the user who made the wishlist. Friends and family may appreciate seeing what someone has added to their public wishlist and a quick link to buy that item for them.

On the flip side, many customers enjoy the idea of making wishlists like playlists to share with others. This might, for example, include recipe packs, utility kits, or gift basket ideas that others can shop as packs. Especially if you offer bundle deals on playlist-style shared wishlists.

Gifting Wishlists

Many people will use a multi-wishlist feature to gift-shop for others. They will have one wishlist for their personal desires and another (or many) for gifts they might by friends and family. Just having optional, nameable gifting wishlists increases the chance that your store is where customers will do their gift shopping.

This is especially helpful if your products include delightful items that make customers think “That would make the perfect gift for someone I know”

Gifting wishlists also allow you to categorize and sort which wishlist items to personally promote, and which to offer as a gift-wrapped deal instead. A gifting wishlist, therefore, can remove stray data when a gift is pre-shopped for someone else instead of representing your customer’s preferences.

Personal Utility Wishlists

Utility wishlists also serve their purpose. This might include wishlists labeled “Work Clothes” or “Camping Trip” where customers shop for specific purposes, keeping each list nice and tidy for each shopping motivation. This type of wishlist also allows you to determine the shopping patterns of customers and to pattern-match your upselling suggestions.

For example, a customer who has a camping trip wishlist and is shopping for flashlights would likely rather see suggested tents instead of lamps in your product suggestion sidebar while they shop. Purpose-based wishlists are a great tool for both customers and brands.

Big Ticket Wishlists

Then there are big-ticket wishlists. These are special because customers often need to save up – or are specifically waiting for deals – on items typically above their price range. They are often purposefully signing up to track these items and see when they’re on sale. Big-ticket wishlist items can range from home appliances to designer handbags – anything typically above a user’s comfortable price range.

Big-ticket wishlists can be handled in a few different ways. For example, you might offer customers the opportunity to put their loyalty reward points toward lowering the price of a big-ticket item. Include a dashboard progress bar for added motivation. You can absolutely increase sales of these products when new models come in by alerting your wishlisted customers that the price has dropped.

Special Event Wishlist Marketing Strategies

Finally, let’s talk about special event strategies in making use of the wishlist features on your Shopify web store. While wishlists are gold for your CRM-powered programmatic marketing, you can also design a few custom outreach programs that relate specifically to how your customers use the wishlist features your brand provides.

Happy Birthday Wishlist Gift

Birthday gifts are among the most common and popular uses of a wishlist. When a customer’s birthday comes around, decide whether you want to send them a free wishlist item, a special favorite-color bundle deal, or a discount on any item on their wishlist as part of your gift to them.

Birthday wishlist gifts are a way to send a personalized gift or birthday offer based on the customer’s own indicated desires. Ideologically, this is just like giving a child the Nintendo they’ve been talking about for months on their birthday. Many customers really appreciate a personal birthday outreach.

Gifting it Forward: Here’s a Gift to Buy a Gift

Wishlists designed as gifts for others can be used to build a chain of goodwill with your customers. Let them set a date for gift wishlists relating to others’ birthdays and special holidays. Then “gift it forward” by giving them something to create a gift for someone else. Provide complimentary gift-wrapping and receipt-free shipping along with the gift-item discount to win that sale when someone else’s birthday rolls around.

Congratulations on the New Job! / Enjoy Your Camping Trip!

Purpose-built wishlists give you the opportunity to offer best wishes and congratulations. Did someone make an Interview Clothes wishlist and then start shopping for the items? Wish them luck and congratulations on a positive life change. Is the date of their camping trip wishlist coming up? Wish them happy trails along with a discount on tents and sleeping bags.

Become a part of your customers’ lives in a way they have invited with purpose-built wishlists. Send them on their way or send them a congratulatory treat to make a good life event even better – further building a personal relationship with your brand.

Social-Media-Sharable Wishlists

Of course, one of the best things about a wishlist is the ability to share it. Social media sharable wishlists can be one item or the whole playlist-style wishlist. A simple social media button alongside your wishlist UI can transform a personal wishlist into a personal promotion for your brand.

“Check out this awesome purse I found!” one of your users might post with a wishlist link. Or “This is the best car emergency kit I’ve ever put together” another might say. The link includes a great product photo, a few details, and a motivation for others on social media platforms to check out what your customers are so excited about.

Wishlists as Gift Registries

Finally, any wishlist can become a gift registry, and people are getting pretty creative with their gift registries these days. In addition to traditional wedding registries, many families rely on gift registries to give welcome gifts during the holidays. A registry wishlist allows others to buy gifts on someone’s built list and take those items off the list with each purchase.

By providing a wishlist registry feature, you can turn your brand’s Shopify store into a hub of family activity and gift-giving straight from your inventory.


Wishlists are more than just a helpful widget you can add to your Shopify UI. They are a powerful tool for both customers and brands that allow you to populate your CRM data and build a stronger relationship with your most engaged customers. Here at VIP Marketing and Advertising, we know that a diverse and thorough strategy is key to both winning new customers and boosting results from customer loyalty. Contact us today for more advanced marketing strategies and insights to transform your eCommerce success metrics.

Book a free conversation
VIP Listed as a Top Advertising Agency in Charleston, South Carolina
Looking Through the Window Versus Looking in the Mirror in Business
Related Posts

Leveraging YouTube: A Strategic Approach for Attorneys

Video content is a powerful medium that captures attention and influences consumer behavior like no...

What Is OTT and CTV? Should I Buy Digital Marketing From A Media Company?

As someone who has worked in broadcast media during the initial phase of digital media integration,...

Increasing Client Calls: CRO Techniques for Law Firm Websites

Are you a lawyer or part of a law firm that is struggling to turn website visitors into long-term...

Digital marketing has evolved

how are you staying on top?

Want to speak with our team?