December 5th, 2007 | 2 MIN READ

Creative Wish List E-Mailing to Boost Holiday Sales

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Wishing GirlWishlists are becoming more and more popular with online stores. They help customers bookmark items they like but just aren't ready to buy, (which can reduce shopping cart abandonment) and when they are shared, they can help gift givers know what their loved ones really want.

This year, online retailers are getting aggressive and creative with wishlist sharing. Designer apparel retailer Net-a-Porter provides a woman with Santa's Little Helper to give her significant other a not-so-subtle hint on what she wants to find under the tree.

Santa’s Helper

The customer fills out a simple questionnaire, complete with cutesy name for husband/boyfriend. These selections are injected like Mad-Libs into a video email message starring Santa's Little Helper, who coaxes the recipient "Let's face it, if she's happy, you're happy."

Question Form

I gotta admit, it takes guts for a gal to be so bold. But hey, some guys appreciate it this kind of assistance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The majority of sites that offer wish lists also have some way of sharing them, by email or even a Facebook application. But often times the customer is unaware or forgets that she can do this. What Net-a-Porter's doing is reminding customers that they have this ability, and making it a little fun at the same time.

The Wall Street Journal article gives a few more examples of retailers who employ this tactic, including Bluemercury:

Marla Malcolm Beck, owner of Bluemercury beauty boutiques, says the company first tried the tactic last year at its Philadelphia store, where 50 customers were asked to pick out items and provide contact information for a gift-giver. Each gift-giver contacted ended up spending between $1,000 and $5,500, she says. "What do you get someone who has everything? The truth is, you should get them exactly what they want," she says. "If you try to second-guess them, it doesn't work out."

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