I just wanted to say that anyone not using a "wish list" idea in their ecommerce site is just missing out. I have recently fallen in love with Amazon's wish list because it keeps me from getting junk gifts from family members that I really don't want. So I have a link to my permanent Amazon with list on my blog and because I'm developing a cart system I'm building a wish list into that as well.
Although it may not occur to anyone that a wish list is a great idea, it helps your customers to keep track of products they would like but don't have the funds for or don't really "need" right now. So if they have a wish list their friends and family will be able to get them the things they want (via your web site) as gifts for birthdays and other various holidays.
This may not be the breakthrough of the century, but I love the idea and I wanted to bring it to everyone's attention because it does generate additional sales that may not otherwise occur.
I think it works well for Amazon as they have lots of repeat visitors. I probably check their website most days.
However, for most average websites, I think a wish list will not be so successful. I personally feel it would just add extra clutter and distract from the primary purpose of the website to make an initial sale. Probably the time and effort taken to implement it could be better spent elsewhere!
I use the Amazon wishlist a lot as does most of my family; it's made present buying hassles a thing of the past. But like jweighell I think it doesn't seem to be something particularly useful for smaller niche sites - love to hear from anyone who has evidence to the contrary though!
Yep ! In fact, I think everyone should have a wish list... I have one in a popular social network and used to placed small icons in my personal websites as well as blogs. This way, family, friends, e-friends, etc... well, everyone know what I need.
Having a wishlist in your merchant website may not work as well as in Amazon. I really think wishlist should be shared (XML/API, social link) so that people can include the product they saw on your site in one click in their personal page.