Use Wish Lists to Create More Sales

Cris Willis

Please note: if you come across any broken links while trying to access a free download, contact us and we will gladly send you what you need.

Download your free Customer Wish List and Contact History form

Click Here to download your free Customer Wish List and Contact History Form

As the number of COVID cases keeps rising and more and more counties, cities, and states consider and enact more restrictions, it is more important than ever that you stay in touch and provide meaningful services for your customers this holiday season.

When it comes to Holiday Shopping, just about everyone has the same problem.   How many times have you thought this or heard someone say it, “If I only knew what they wanted, it would make my shopping so much easier.”

Every retail store needs to encourage all their customers to fill out a Wish List (or Gift Registry), either in the store or on your eCommerce site.   If possible, capture the family and friends’ names and contact information of who will be shopping for that person.  Then reach out to these contacts to let them know that you have exactly what the person on their list wants for Christmas.

In my 27 years of retail store ownership, I know that men loved it when we called, emailed, or texted them that we had exactly what their wife wanted for Christmas.  This also worked very well for mothers and daughters, sisters, and besties.  Everyone wants to get their friends and family, something that they know they will love.  That is why so many people rely on their family and friends to share their Amazon Wish List.  Many of your customers will want to support you and shop locally, so make it as easy as possible for them.

Now is the time to push in-store or online Wish Lists and/or Gift Registry.

I wish everyone on my list would go to a local store and fill out a Wish List with exactly what they want for Christmas.  Then I wish that store would call, text, or email me to let me know they have the list.  I would LOVE to make the purchases in-store or via the phone or internet and have them wrapped and ready for me to pick up or have shipped.  That would be the ultimate WWMCW – What Would My Customer Want.  So, I highly encourage you to ask your customers to fill out a Wish List and to have their family members and friends fill one out too.  Make sure they fill out multiple items just in case you are sold out of some of the things when someone wants to shop.

Here are 3 ways you can encourage Wish Lists this season

Wish List Party

Plan an event around filling out Wish Lists.  You can give each customer a free gift that fills out or brings in their Wish List during the event timeframe.  Be sure to post the Wish List on Facebook, send it in an email, and have a copy on your website that can be filled out online or at least downloaded.

Offer a Promotion

Give your customers the opportunity to “Win Their List.” You can set a dollar amount of what they can win.  The higher the dollar amount, the more Wish Lists you will get turned in.  Every part of the form must be filled out to be entered to win.  They must list some items that you carry, and the most important section is the “who you can contact.” Then enter all of the eligible Wish Lists into a drawing and pull out a winner.  For example, you could do four winners that get up to $50 each or one winner that gets up to $150 or $200.  Depending on what products you carry, you can determine the best dollar amount.  Brighton, a vendor we worked with that made jewelry, leather goods, and more for women, offered the opportunity for one person in the country to win their entire list.  We would have many women fill out their list, and we would keep them on file all year and reach back out for birthdays and anniversaries.

Lead Up to a Successful Men’s Night Event

Plan a Men’s Night event in December.  Ask every woman shopping in your store from now until then to fill out a Wish List of what she wants for Christmas.  Then give her the invitation to Men’s Night for her to give to her husband.  You will want to reach out to him again to invite him and remind him of the event but having the wife on your team helps.  She may even encourage him to shop sooner than later to make sure the items are still available.  We will discuss planning your Men’s Night event in next week’s blog focused on events in December.


Wish Lists and Gift Registries are not just for the holidays.  Keep them on file and have your customers come back in and update them throughout the year.  There are many other gift-giving opportunities throughout the year, like birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Valentine’s Day, and so much more!

Related: [Download] Event / Promotion Planning & Recap form

Download your free Customer Wish List and Contact History form

Click Here to download your free Customer Wish List and Contact History Form

Cris Willis

Cris is a business coach for independent retailers. With 25 years of experience owning and operating a family business, she now guides retail owners to make smarter decisions regarding inventory management, marketing, sales training, product assortment, and more. When not at work, she loves to travel the country with her husband in their motorhome.

You May Also Like

5 Easy Holiday Sales Games

5 Easy Holiday Sales Games

Giving rewards is fun! Sales games are a fun, simple, and inexpensive way to reward your sales team when using the skills you trained them to do.

Share This