Digital wish lists, which have been available for several years for kids and adults, are growing more widespread and sophisticated as more holiday shopping moves online and consumers embrace the convenience.
?A digital wish list is a win-win,? said Michael Silverstein, a senior partner in the consumer practice at Boston Consulting Group. ?It allows the giver to know what the receiver wants. It permits the receiver to avoid a trip to the store for a refund. It?s classier than cash.?
While they have yet to achieve mainstream popularity, Silverstein predicts ?the next three holiday seasons will see tremendous growth in demand and usage,? as long as retailers make their wish list tools highly visible.
Thirty-two percent of holiday shoppers plan to find gift inspiration on wish lists this year, up from 28.8 percent last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey.
As retailers beef up their digital strategies, more are launching wish list tools, and those that already have them are rolling out enhanced features.
Target, which has offered various wish list capabilities over the years, this season introduced an interactive mobile app that lets kids create an avatar and virtually go through Santa?s workshop to select from hundreds of items rolling by on a conveyor belt.
Toys R Us, which has offered an online wish list since 2008 that functions like its baby registry, last year launched a mobile holiday wish list app with a bar code scanner so families can go through a physical store and upload items to their digital lists with their smartphones.
Gap this year started an online wish list that lets shoppers add up to 30 items across five of its brands ? Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime ? and share their lists via email, Facebook or Twitter, so ?you mix and match your favorite styles for any occasion and at any price point,? the company said.
And Amazon, a pioneer when it launched its wish lists in 1999, this season introduced the Twitter hashtag #AmazonWishList, which lets customers add items to their lists directly from Twitter.