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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wishing for Wish Lists

According to Coremetrics, the number of visits to retail sites driven by online marketing increased by 33 percent between the weeks before and after Thanksgiving. Conversion rates similarly jumped 24 percent, which can be attributed to better messaging or just a more eager audience.

However, traffic to retailer sites overall increased too, at a somewhat slower pace (24 percent), so let's not give marketers too much credit. Also, the study doesn't mention how these number compare to last year, so we don't know if this is unusual or not.

This survey got me to thinking: As more of us do substantial percentages of shopping -- or at least shopping research --online, wouldn't it make sense for retailers to take advantage of wish lists? Baby and wedding registries are popular, but wish list promotions are lagging. Is getting what you want seen as too tacky during the season of giving? Take it from a guy who owns a few dozen sweaters, getting what you really want is better for everyone.

Amazon, Walmart and provide wish lists, and Yahoo Shopping has the slickest interface for saving gifts to your list while also displaying comparative prices. I didn't see anything similar at Target,, Retailers should market the heck out of wish lists starting in November, and offer an incentive for people to sign up.

I would think that with all of the recommendation features for buying books, music or DVDs, that people would be more comfortable in sharing that type of information. However, rather than having to search by name as you do on many of these sites, the wish list should be referred to by email address, which is inherently unique.

Retailers get valuable information by tracking what a girl (or guy) wants, and here's an idea for a promotion -- after the holidays offer 20 percent off the items on the wish list that people didn't receive as gifts. It could push folks (who may have holiday cash) to buy for themselves.

By John Gartner at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

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