Vol. 08: Wishlists, Gift Certificates, and Gift Giving

3rd Edition

Report PDF cover image

Part of the E-Commerce User Experience Series

If you’re running a business-to-consumer site without wishlists and gift certificates, you’re giving up valuable business. And even if you have these features, you’re probably still not taking full advantage of them if your site is anything like those we tested. Gift buyers come to your site because someone they know likes to shop with you, not because they have an independent relationship with your site. The smallest glitch in the user experience can be fatal for these users.

This 118-page report contains 109 design recommendations based on our usability research. Discussions and 65 screenshot illustrations supplement the findings. Flow charts with wireframes feature our recommendations for process steps.


  • User attitudes toward online gift giving
    • Fear of online gifting
    • Personal touch versus convenience
    • The guilt and relief around gift certificates and wishlists
    • And the best gift is…
  • Choosing gifts online; the steps involved and barriers at each step
    • The gift choice process
    • Finding a trustable site
    • Finding a suitable item
    • Purchasing the item
    • Choosing gift options
    • The gift receipt and message for the recipient
    • Shipping to a different address
    • Confirming order and receipt
  • Gift certificate guidelines
    • Purchasing, giving, receiving and redeeming
    • Advertising certificates on your site
    • Purchasing and sending certificates
    • Receiving e-certificates
    • Redeeming certificates
  • Wishlist guidelines
    • Wishlist considerations
    • Creating the list
    • Adding items
    • Sharing the list
    • Notification mail
    • Buying from a wishlist
  • Top 8 improvements you can make to your site in hardly any time
    • The basics
    • Certificates
    • Wishlists
    • Track your gift metrics

Research Method

The information in this report is based on research with representative users, using the following methods:

  • One-on-one usability testing of 22 websites
  • Field studies (We observed people shop in physical stores and add items to registries.)

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Vol. 08: Wishlists, Gift Certificates, and Gift Giving

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