The Heart of the Matter: Understanding the Digital Favorites List


As shoppers opt to browse online, it’s getting tougher for brands to earn a coveted spot on the favorites list. “Favoriting” an item refers to the process of adding or saving a specific item to a list of favorites. It allows for quick access to a central area of an app or website where users can easily review past purchases, typically leading to repurchasing the items. It’s interesting to note that many online grocery applications will automatically sort the user’s favorites list to show up immediately upon opening the app, display the key items at the top of a search query, and remind users to revisit past favorites before beginning the checkout process. Most shoppers will often purchase the same items (especially grocery items) over and over again, or at least browse similar products.  Utilizing a favorites list offers an organized way to navigate to desired items and possible repurchases. This is beneficial to both buyers and sellers, as one enjoys the simplicity and convenience, and the other retains happy customers.

The Heart of the Shopper’s Journey

Even before the process of favoriting was widely offered across eCommerce apps, users have historically used their cart as a means of favoriting items. If a shopper isn’t convinced to purchase immediately, they will add it to the cart anyway. At the end of their shopping experience, they would then review and delete any items they changed their mind on. The problem with this method is that the contents of the cart are only saved for a specific amount of time, which means it’s difficult to review items after a day or so has passed. 

Many retailers are solving this issue by adding the option to favorite items, often denoted with a heart icon. Consumers have the option to manually favorite specific items, and certain retailers will even automatically add favorites to a list based on past purchasing behavior. This feature offers a fast and convenient way for shoppers to access preferred items. In a favorites list, the selected items stay on the list even after purchase, making it useful and efficient for purchasing the same product again and again. In a recent RichContext survey, 71% of shoppers reported that they frequently shop from their favorites list, and 30% always start their online order from their favorites list. 

Strategies for Success

While the process of adding a favorite is a simple task, it has major implications for brands and retailers. It has become a challenge to highlight new products for shoppers at the digital shelf, making product discovery seem like an impossible feat for many brands. But, there’s hope! Once a brand has successfully made it to the favorites list, that product will continue to increase in visibility while being easily accessible to the shopper. Brands must start by focusing on and investing in solutions that promote product discovery.

Product discovery is based on creating user-friendly experiences that enrich product information. Feature interesting, educational, and informative content on product detail pages. Showcase elements like product videos, user-generated content, and additional product features to help customers make informed purchasing decisions. Invest in dynamic and seamless solutions to promote new or trending products. These types of online shopping experiences will ultimately drive repeat purchases and (hopefully) a spot on the favorites list.

About RichContext

RichContext, based in Northwest Arkansas, is a retail technology company focusing on digital commerce. RichContext works with some of the world’s most recognized brands and retailers, delivering end-to-end digital solutions. RichContext is comprised of a proprietary blend of engineering, UI/UX, data science and performance marketing built to shape the future of digital commerce.