WooCommerce Wishlists for Guests

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If you've been following along, we've covered two tips in this WooCommerce Help Guide series:

Today we're going to talk about WooCommerce Wishlists for Guests.

If you're wondering why I add the “for guests” part to it, you should know a lot of people use wishlists for people who already have an account (like the way Amazon does it). Most stores, once they realize you don't have an account, force you to have one.

But I recommend an alternative approach to working with non-account-holders, or more simply put, guests.

Store Engagement

Yesterday I told you that my tip wasn't so much about SEO as it was human engagement. Today is no different. There is nothing that pays better dividends in the long run, than treating humans well when they visit your store and want to check out your offerings.

Most people get so busy building out features and worrying about technology that they miss the core fundamentals of making sure the store is as welcoming to first-timers as it is to returning customers.

First time customers are hard to win

When you think about your own first visit to a store you've never encountered before, you may remember all the questions you had:

  • Will this store actually exist 6 months from now?
  • Is my credit card info safe with this online store?
  • Can I find this product somewhere else, like Amazon?
  • Can I find it cheaper? Or will it cost less to ship from somewhere else?

Every time you get to a new store, one you've never set eyes on before, there's more than a little bit of anxiety suggesting you should look elsewhere – particularly your tried & true online stores.

Buying a different product

A couple years ago my wife wanted to buy me a watch. She knew I liked Tag Heuer watches and was looking online. Eventually she asked me to look at the one she found online to purchase.

It was beautiful. I'd never seen it before. But I'd also never seen that online store before either. And I didn't trust the site she was looking at.

So we moved over to Amazon. Did a search there. And when we didn't find the same one, we just bought a different watch.

And today, years later, I can't even recall what that other site was. I didn't even dig in deeper to see if the watch was real and if the site was real.

A trust and engagement tip

If you're running a store that isn't Amazon.com, Nike.com, or on some other well-known brand's domain name, then this story may sound familiar to you. As you develop your brand's equity, you've likely dealt with a lot of this.

But there's a tip I can share with you that I've found to be particularly helpful when it comes to developing trust and engagement. It's the notion of allowing non-registered guests to create a wishlist on your site.

Like I said above, most stores—upon your first step in adding an item to a wishlist—will ask you to create an account. But if you don't trust the site, you may not want to do that.

But a site that lets you do it, and lets you know that it will last for 30 or 60 days without you creating an account (because of a local cookie), is a site that is starting to build trust with you. If you come back in 20 days and it's still there, they've taken the first step to demonstrate that they can be trusted.

Additionally, you can use this approach to create an opportunity to invite comparisons if you have a consistent way to outshine your competition.

Here's an example

Say you're my friend in Houston who runs the best cigar lounge ever. (Note: he's not using WooCommerce yet, but give it a bit of time.) He has a set of cigars that you can't find anywhere else on the planet because the cigar manufacturers make them only for his shop.

So he can invite you to put it on your wishlist (so you won't forget them), and then to go out and review all the stores to see if they have them.

Even if you don't know him or his store, this is a nice and simple way to get you engaged in a deeper way. And it's differentiated because what other site tells you to go elsewhere to look around?

But he can do that because he knows the reality of his situation. And these wishlists for guests can begin to build the trust that leads to engagement that leads to purchases.

Is there an extension for that?

We get to the end of this tip, and you're probably wondering if there's an easy way to add wishlists for guests to your WooCommerce site, and the good news is that there is.

It's called WooCommerce Wishlists and it comes with a setting to let guests create their own. I suggest you turn it on. (Later in this series I'll tell you how to combine it with OptinMonster for a powerful result.)

About Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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