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What’s cookin on your back burner?


Recently I was consulting this client who have the ecommerce store that was suffering with conversion crisis.  So they’ve got a great niche to target, wonderfully designed website, substantial marketing and promotion investment made, reasonable amount of   traffic, sizeable   number of customers registered and yet the sales were terribly low.

The client wanted me to help with growth hacking techniques that could drastically elevate the conversion rate of their ecommerce store.

During analysis, one of the so many things that came out was very surprising.

I discovered that over 18 percent customers have been using the add to wish list  feature present on the website but only less than 1.5 percent have actually bought any item from the wish list they created.

This meant that over 18 percent of their customers have been wanting to buy one or more products one time or other but hardly a few of them actually returned and bought them. More than 16 percent of the actual customers once thought of buying something but then chose to let that thought be on back burner.

The statistics were very interesting and one of the major areas I thought the improvements could be made in order to increase and optimize conversion rate of the store


As this came into picture, I started wondering the many things me and all of us keep on putting on back burner in our lives.

“Back burner” is a great word and I love it.   The back burner is the place where we put  things, tasks, ideas, plan, people and even relationships we aren’t quite ready to let cool off, but alas

We’re still considering cooking something else – something better than leftover soup.

For an entrepreneur like me who is always flooded with so many tasks  and so many ideas, back burner is in fact a wholly grail.

Very often I come across great business ideas, like them and choose to keep that on back burner as a matter of implementing later. Some of them I pick up and use while a lot still keep on sticking their, waiting for their turn.


From simple things like learning guitar or practice swimming to buying big home/lavish car and the daily list of personal /professional tasks, all of   us keep on dumping things/tasks/plans/ideas/people/relationships on back burner at one point or the other.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping things on back burner though. In fact it’s great to put certain things there which are not on priority at the moment or the ones you’d really like to do in near-to-come time so that you can approach back to them at a point soon.

What comes as the real problem are two things:

  1. Items that are important to you and yet kept on back burner
  2. Items that are not important to you and yet kept on back burner.


While optimizing the conversion rate for the ecommerce store of this client, from more dig-in into the customer behaviour some interesting facts came out that helped me gaining more insights into the things:

  1. More than 28 percent customers out of those who added at least one item in their wish list in last 3 months have clicked and gone through their wishlist at least 5 times each user on a compound average. This means that the items that they added were important to them, even if they did not buy them for whatever reasons
  2. More than 54 percent of this 28 percent of users as told above had an average of 2 items each that they saw more than others. This means that some items were certainly more important to them in comparison to rest
  3. More than 43 percent customers out of all those who added at least one item in their wishlist have clicked the page one time or lesser, which clearly means that the items that they added were not important to them.


This is what we do in our lives too. If you carefully observe, So many items that we’ve kept on the back burner are those which are actually highly  important to us and still they’ve been kept there.

Ask those who are stuck in daily office grind and wanted to start their own venture instead, or women who wanted to go out and work but feels forced to be a housewife, or the car/home you wanted to buy from years that has not happened yet.

However, all of us have a number of items piled up on back burner at the same time that are kept there but are not important to us. These items only increases the size of the pile and makes the process of pick and choose more difficult.

The more things/tasks we’ve got on our list, the more beleaguered we find ourselves while completing/cleaning them up.


From the further analysis of this ecommerce website, some more facts revealed that were:

  1. More than 41 percent out of those who at least added one item in the wishlist had a long list, consisting 34 items each user on an average.
  2. Out of this 41 percent of the users, close to 52 percent were found traversing and scanning the list at Least 5 times each and still not buying a single item out of it.
  1. Comparing to this, 53 percent of those who actually bought items from the wishlist had an average of less than 10 products on their list.



Many of us are found to be floundering, doing what we’d least prefer doing while the things we would actually like to do are in the wishlist/ on the back burner.

Its utterly important to clearly know and evaluate that:

-whether the things that you have on the front burner are all those you find important to you at this point

-and if all that you have on the back burner are things you really wish to take up sometime soon.


Growth hacks that I implemented and had amazing results


After Putting all the facts and analysis together, here are some of the things that I implemented on the ecommerce store and had incredible rise in conversion rate:

  1. Shortlist button: I implemented a “shortlist” button on the wishlist page, clicking which the user can shortlist items out of the wishlist and the colour of those will change to red
  2. Scheduling: While adding and shortlisting items in the wishlist, the website now asks the estimated date user thinks he will be able to buy the respective product.
  3. Remove button: Remove button has been made more prominent, in fact more prominent than “add” and “shortlist” so that the user is encouraged to remove unwanted items.
  4. Priority sorting: Based on the dates that the user has told at the time of adding and shortlisting, the data is now displayed in ascending date order where the one this user wanted to by on nearest coming date is the first one to see.
  5. Make public and share buttons: Two additional buttons were added, allowing user to make the wishlist item public (allowing everyone to see) and share on social media. This makes the commitment stronger and adds an element of social accountability
  6. Reminders and notifications: A complete reminder and notification system has been setup so that the user gets relevant reminders about the items he has on the list, based on nearest date, clicking and buying
  7. Automatic removal: Items that have passed 15 days more from the estimated date are automatically removed from the list unless an action is taken. This adds a sense of responsibility and fear (The psychological triggers).
  8. Offers: Depending on user’s clicking and buying behaviours, offers are presented on products that seems potentially convertible.


Having implemented the above growth hacking techniques, I noticed a surprising, 27 percent increment in conversion rate, which is absolutely huge!


Takeaways you can apply in your life for maximum results


Here are take aways/recommendations you can apply in your life as well to best utilize your back burner and gain maximum results:


Evaluate carefully all that you’re having on front burner and back burner and ensure that you only have most important items on the front burner and rest on the back.


There’s no point keeping the pile you find unimportant or the things/tasks you know you’re not going to do. Remove them out and keep your stove clean!


Prioritize the items on the scale of most and least important and put an estimated date of starting as well as completion so that you can make sure to only pick things important to you at the moment, no unwanted items and nothing important getting left out.

-Enrolment: Share your priorities, to-dos, wishes, desires and back burner list with people matters to you. This makes your commitment stronger and allows your loved ones to help and support in accomplishing your goals.

-Measurements and reminders: As it says, out of sight, out of mind.  Its important to keep on measuring the status of your front and back burner and keep on reminding yourself about your priorities.

-Accountability: Be responsible about the items you have on your front and back burner. Hold yourself accountable for things that went wrong and ask people who can hold you accountable so that you’re on track.


Be it daily tasks from the to-do list, dreams that we wish to chase, things we want to learn and people we want to make/break relationships, back burner can be extremely useful if you use it carefully and thoughtfully. All that’s needed is to give appropriate heat to all the items that you have on the burners and let them simmer well to make a scrumptious dish.


What’s cookin on your back burner then?




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