shopify wishlist comparison

Shopify Wishlist, Save For Later, Or Shopping Cart: Which Is The Best, Why And How To Use

Learn how to make later purchases easy and convenient for your Shopify customers.

More than 90% of shoppers don’t end up making purchases the first time they browse eCommerce sites.

Shoppers tend to skim products on many different sites, assess items, compare prices/quality, and then zero down on the one they want to purchase.

And this is why it’s important to give customers the option to save items for possible later purchases.

There are a few ways to do this—Shopify wishlist, save for later, or add to cart. These features make it easy for customers to revisit products they like and make purchases later.

In this blog, we take an in depth look at the three features and help you decide which one is best for your Shopify store.

Ecommerce Shopify wishlist, save for later, and shopping cart: definitions

In the following sections, we will first walk you through a recap of each and then go into a comparison to help you choose a strategy that boosts conversions.

What is a Shopify wishlist?

You must have often seen a tiny heart with a plus sign (+) icon next to products, while shopping online. When you click on this icon, that particular product gets saved in a personal list, called wishlist.

Wishlist is a feature on eCommerce stores that allow customers to save their favorite items in a personal list. They can refer to and purchase these items later.

The eCommerce wishlist feature makes it easy for customers to remember products they liked while browsing sites, evaluate the products, compare different items, and make purchase decisions.

Additionally, some eCommerce shops offer advanced options like “share the wishlist” so that customers can get their loved ones to purchase the items for them.

Here’s an example of wishlist:

Explore Flits Wishlist app for Shopify.

What is Save for Later?

Save for later is a feature that allows customers to easily store items they are interested in buying at a later time. Customers may see things they like but aren’t ready to buy right away while browsing an online store. The ‘save for later’ feature allows customers to put such things to a dedicated section within their accounts so they don’t lose sight of them or struggle with searching for them again.

Additionally, the ‘save for later’ feature frequently offers extra advantages. Customers can sign up to receive alerts or reminders about price reductions, stock availability, or special deals for the items they’ve saved. Customers can stay informed and make purchases based on their selected criteria in this way.

Here’s an example of ‘save for later’:

What is a shopping cart?

A shopping cart is a section where shoppers add the products they like and proceed to checkout. But additionally, the shopping cart functions as a place to memorize and retain products. Customers often go back to their shopping carts to compare saved products.

However, saving items in a shopping cart also has drawbacks. Customers tend to forget about the carts while shopping on other sites. Moreover, they might also receive multiple notifications about the products in their carts from the Shopify stores. This can spam their inboxes and get annoying.

Here’s an example of a shopping cart:

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these features.

Wishlist vs. save for later vs. shopping cart: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • Allows customers to save products for later purchase
  • The name ‘wishlist’ has a positive and aspirational emotion attached to it
  • Wishlists can be given personalized names, for example, John’s Wishlist
  • Customers can share their wishlists with friends without having to explain more
  • Help drive traffic
  • Minimize out-of-stock lost sales
  • Alert customers about sales
  • If you don’t follow wishlist eCommerce best practices, you might not achieve desired results
  • If out-of-stock items aren’t restocked, it might disappoint customers
  • If you don’t send customers notifications about products in their wishlist, they might stop using the feature
Shopping cart
  • Customers can easily checkout from shopping carts and close the purchase
  • Shopping carts also provide more details such as expected delivery date, availability, etc.
  • Customers can easily forget about shopping carts and the products added
  • Customers associate carts to checkouts and not for saving products for later
  • Shopping carts have a high abandonment rate
Save for later
  • Save for later products are visible from the shopping cart
  • Save for later feature is similar to wishlist
  • The title ‘save for later’ has a psychological connotation to the option of purchasing it or not purchasing it in the future
  • Ecommerce sites have ‘save for later’ feature in the shopping cart, giving shoppers the option to delay purchases
  • Customers might not know how to use save for later feature

How to use Shopify wishlist, save for later, and shopping cart?

As we explored, all the three features are somewhat different and have different benefits. In this section, we’ll learn how to use these features to maximize their benefits, because to make the most of these features, you have to strategically manage them.

1. Make the feature easily findable – add to customer account page

Your Shopify wishlist is there to make customers’ experience better. How easy it is for customers to spot this feature makes a big contribution to their experience. Poor findability (finding a feature customers already know about) or weak discoverability (finding a feature for the first time) is one of the top frustrations of eCommerce customers.

Unlike product searches, customers cannot search for features such as wishlist or save for later. Hence, you must ensure these sections are prominently placed. The best place to find these features is the Shopify customer account page.

The customer account is the go-to place for customers to find information. Making wishlist or save for later a part of this page has many benefits.

For example, let’s consider the eCommerce wishlist feature on the customer account page:

  • By including the wishlist in the customer account, you can collect more data from the account page
  • Customers can find all important information on one page and would not have to browse different pages to look for information
  • It makes it easy for customers to use of different features together, for example, use wishlist with recently viewed products to compare items

While it’s easy to find the shopping cart, features such as ‘wishlist’ and ‘save for later’ have to be given spots that are easily discoverable.

2. Use only one: wishlist or save for later

The difference between Shopify wishlist and save for later is minor. Both function in a similar manner. And so, if you use both the features, customers might feel confused. However, consider the pros and cons of both the features to decide which one you must use on your Shopify site. Wishlist has more benefits and hence, would be more apt for your Shopify store.

Here’s why we favor wishlist more. According to studies based on psychology, wishlists can increase future purchases. At the same time, wishlists decrease the likelihood of removal of products, unlike shopping carts or save for later.

Customers often tend to remove items from their shopping carts if they’ve made up their mind to not purchase it. How does this affect your Shopify store?

For starters, you won’t be able to send recommendations based on data. Secondly, once removed, customers might forget about those products forever.

Consider these two factors:

  • Social context of wishlists: Wishlists can be private or public. Public wishlists are connected to the individual’s identity and have higher potential for conversion. On the contrary, private wishlists are hidden and so there’s no social or peer pressure to make those purchases.
  • The duration: If a wishlist has items for a long duration, you get as many opportunities to engage customers via remarketing, promotions, discounts, and communication around the wishlist.

3. Make the features mobile-friendly

One of the most important aspects for eCommerce success is an excellent cross-platform experience. Customers browse eCommerce sites on desktop and mobile. And hence, it is essential to have your mobile site up to mark. Here are some wishlist eCommerce best practices to follow:

  • Make Shopify wishlist, save for later, and shopping cart compatible with mobile devices
  • Make your Shopify customer account page mobile-friendly as wishlist would be a part of this page
  • Make the icons large enough for easy clicking
  • Make the text font size easily legible
  • Keep the Shopify wishlist design and navigation simple
  • Keep the mobile site minimal and clutter-free

4. Connect with social media

Features such as wishlists can be easily connected to social media. All you have to do is include a social share button. Connecting the Shopify wishlist with social media can help you boost engagement via retargeting and promotions. You can also use wishlist data to create targeted marketing campaigns.

5. Share a related-product recommendation

At times, shoppers add products to Shopify wishlists because they are out of stock. In such cases, shoppers try to save the products so they can be purchased when they’re back in stock.

This is an opportunity for you to share recommendations of products that are related to the ones saved in the wishlist, save for later, or shopping cart sections.

When compared to people who are just browsing, people who add your products to their wishlists, carts, or save for later, are further down the sales funnel, and you already know which products they prefer. A personalized product recommendation may be exactly what they need to convert.

You could gain more insights into the products they like from the Shopify customer account page too. For example, check the ‘recently viewed products’ section or the reorder section to see which type of products they’ve reordered on your site.

Also read: 8 Ways To Use Data Captured From Shopify Wishlists To Drive Sales

6. Allow customers to create unlimited lists

Your Shopify site may be selling many different types of products. Say for example, clothing, footwear, accessories, stationery, etc. And customers might want to save products into different segments. In this case, it helps to enable shoppers to create multiple lists.

Here’s how:

  • Allow customers to create multiple wishlists
  • Allow customers to give personalized names to their Shopify wishlists. For example, John’s Clothing Wishlist, John’s Home Decor Wishlist
  • Make the lists shareable to boost sales and engagement. Have share buttons for different platforms such as email, text, messengers, etc.

What should you use: Shopify wishlist, save for later, or shopping cart?

While a shopping cart is a default feature in eCommerce stores, it’s also a must-have. However, you must stop using the shopping cart as a feature that customers use to revisit products or purchase later.

For making purchase decisions, you must use the Shopify wishlist feature or save for later. For both these, you must ensure you make it a part of your Shopify customer account page.

The customer account page is a data bank, which can help you attract and engage customers, and grow profit.

Put simply, the Shopify customer account account page is the backbone of your eCommerce store. Therefore, it’s critical to use an efficient customer account page app.

Explore Flits Customer Account Page App and Flits Wishlist for your Shopify store.

Install Flits To Set-Up Your Customer Account page Right-away

Vanhishikha Bhargava
Vanhishikha Bhargava
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