Wish List – an Underused but Powerful Affiliate Marketing Tool

Have you seen how Webster’s Dictionary defines a “wish list”? Apparently, the proper definition of the word is “a list of desired but often realistically unobtainable items” [source | italics mine].

Interestingly, just as it has done it with so many other areas of our life the Internet has turned the classic definition of the word around, turning it into “a list of desired items the compiler may obtain via putting it together and sharing with friends”. Or as my alma mater puts it, in ecommerce the word is defined as:

…a list that a customer can make on a website showing things they would like to buy or have as presents from the website [Cambridge Business English Dictionary]

Needless to say that for merchants, the wish list customer feature should be a must (Amazon has mastered it especially well). However, affiliates should take advantage of this tremendous marketing opportunity too!

Naturally, the first group of affiliates that comes to mind are data feed-driven websites. A wish list functionality can turn your visitors into marketers, becoming a truly powerful sales tool. After all, in consumer’s eyes data feed affiliates have a very distinct advantage over individual online merchants — the prospect may now browse products across different (often competing) online retailers. Why not give them a tool to compile wish lists containing items sold in different places too?

Simple, isn’t it? But you’ll be surprised to find out that the opportunity is largely underused… I have just analyzed five randomly-selected data feed-based affiliate websites, and here are my findings:

If you run a data feed-powered website, monetizing through affiliate marketing, consider adding the wish list functionality for your users to enjoy! Additionally, I strongly recommend looking into this if you’re into thematic product featuring (e.g.: shoes, electronics, costumes, etc) and/or focus on truly niche items (e.g.: bridal, astronomy, horse tack, fishing tackle). I am certain that it will enhance your customer value proposition.

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