Amazon and the big online department stores have long offered gift registries. But what about independent ecommerce stores built on Volusion? Can they also benefit from a gift registry feature?
What’s the Difference Between a Gift Registry and a Wishlist?
In order to save you confusion, let’s start by clarifying the terms “gift registry” vs. “wishlist.”
A Registry is set up by someone specifically to help others buy them gifts, usually around weddings, baby births, the holiday season and other occasions. A wishlist, on the other hand, might be set up purely for personal use, as a way to bookmark products that a shopper is interested in buying at a later time.
Some Wishlists can be shared with others and serve the same function as a gift registry. And that’s where the confusion starts, but in this article I’m going to give the two words their proper meaning.
How to Set Up a Wishlist in Volusion
This is very simple to do, as it is a native feature that is integrated with Volusion out-of-the-box. For instructions on how to activate this feature, click here.
Be aware that this Wishlist will be visible to a registered customer who is logged in to your store, but no one else. They can’t share this list with anyone and it can’t function as a gift registry.
How to Set Up a Gift Registry in Volusion
Volusion does not come with proper gift registry functionality built-in and it cannot be added. The closest solution which Volusion offers is integration with Wishpot. Wishpot is an app that allows shoppers to easily create wishlists of items they would like to buy from many stores across the web. These lists can be shared with friends and serve as a gift registry.
As a gift registry solution, Wishpot has its pros and cons. On one hand, it’s a popular platform and it can be a good way to get exposure for your product and drive gift sales.
On the other hand, it is not a true gift registry, but rather a wishlist hosted on a massive network. Once someone clicks the “Add to Registry” button on your product page, they will be invited to get a Wishlist account. This could become a distraction from the buying process and could lead to shopping cart abandonment.
Unlike a Registry, which is exclusive to your site, on Wishpot your products will be competing for attention among the products of many other merchants. However for smaller stores that don’t have enough variety to support a full gift registry, this is probably more of a pro than a con.
What if you Want Your Own Gift Registry for Your Store?
At this time, there is no option for your own exclusive gift registry in a Volusion store. Bear in mind that Volusion is a hosted ecommerce solution and therefore your developer can’t simply add functions and extensions. This differs from Open Source ecommerce platforms, that allow a lot more flexibility for custom programming.
However, open source shopping carts come with their own challenges. Depending on your circumstances, you might do better with Volusion, even if you have to forgo a proper gift registry. Read this in-depth review of the pros and cons of Open-Source vs. Hosted Ecommerce Solutions.
If having a private gift registry is important to your business model, then we recommend using 3d Cart, which integrates smoothly with a custom gift-registry extension. Contact us to discuss if this can work for you.
If you are staying with Volusion, play around with their Wishpot integration. It may be a great gift registry solution for your business.