Tying the Knot with Consumers: The Evolving Landscape of Wedding Registries

Magic is in the air as the wedding season fast approaches, and the retail industry for the inevitable boom. Big changes shape the shopping landscape, and gone are the days for traditional gifting. This is 2018! Instead of the traditional knick-knacks, couples are opting in for their friends and families to send personally tailored presents that suit their lifestyle needs. And of course, the most important component of the wedding gifting process is the timeless wedding registry… with the registry list being used for the all major gift events leading up to the wedding day, your marketing can gain a significant boost if you can use it to connect your brand to the big day.

Wedding Registry Landscape

  • Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.

  • As of 2018, a total of $72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S. Out of these, $19 billion is spent buying presents at wedding gift registries.

  • 50% of Americans have reported they needed help to figure out wedding gift etiquette.

  • More than 91% of American couples register for wedding gifts.

  • Millennial guests want to offer a gift that gives back. The survey found that people ages 18-39 are more likely to donate to a charity the couple has included on their registry, rather than buying a traditional gift.

As of 2018, the three most popular months for weddings taking place in US are October, September and June. Retailers catering to the soon-to-be wedding population may want to consider altering their promotional approaches and help steer guests towards more practical items for today’s modern couple.

Here’s a list of most popular gifts purchased on wedding registries:

  1. Dinnerware Place Settings
  2. Cookware Sets
  3. Standing Mixers
  4. Blenders
  5. Kitchen Knife Sets
  6. Ovens
  7. Bedsheet Sets
  8. Experiences
  9. Area Rugs
  10. Robotic Vacuums

Wedding Registry Trends to Consider

Tailoring Registries to Millennials

Millennials are by far the most common demographic to get married today, so their habits greatly influence the overall landscape. How do they shop for wedding gifts? The wedding registry is a tool they see as indispensable, and by paying attention to their specific demographic profile and habits, savvy marketers can ensure wedding registries are fine-tuned to meet millennial approval.

  • 93% of millennial wedding guests would purchase a gift from the couple’s registry if a charity contribution component is included.

Since millennials are getting married later, they’ve already lived with their significant other and thus are looking for an expanded breadth of items and experiences for their registry. “Couples do want upgraded sheets and towels, but they also want experiences they can share together and money towards their future”. Thus, experiential gifts remain a significant motivating factor for millennials. Millennial couples are now living in smaller homes and are doing without a lot compared with previous generations, which further cements the idea that out-of-home gift situations work better for this demographic.

Honeymoon Registries

Honeymoon registries let guests contribute to your first big trip as a married couple, by choosing to cover all or a portion of airfare, hotel rooms, and travel experiences. With a few exceptions, the payments aren’t directly applied to those items; you’ll receive a lump sum to spend how you wish.

Online Registries vs Retailer Registries

Online Registries

The explosion of e-commerce platforms has been a natural boon to the wedding registry format. An online wedding registry is the best and most convenient tool for guests to pick the perfect gift. Today, 40% of couples are registering for their registries online; consider this number only stood at 5% in 2006.

Mainstream e-commerce platforms are banking on wedding registries for success; a data survey of 35,000 couples recently revealed that Amazon is now the most popular wedding registry site in the US, followed by Target, Bed Bath & Beyond.

Retailer Registries

While many pundits predict online registries poised to overthrow the traditional retail format, it’s still a good idea to set up a registry with a traditional retailer for a few reasons:

1) Older wedding guests who aren’t computer-savvy will be able to easily purchase something.

2) Retailer registries offer a lot of promotions and perks, incentivizing more purchases

For instance, Macy’s is the top name in retail wedding registries, and with good reason: so many perks! You can set up a registry both in-store and online, eliminating the need to choose one format over the other. Once set-up, you’ll have access to benefits such as exclusive promotions, appointments with Registry Advisors, and in-store special events.  

Personalization

Personalization is now the primary focus of any marketing initiative. The ability to give wedding guests and couples and targeted experience that caters to their own unique shopping behaviors can be make or break for what often is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The up-and-coming generation of younger couples is once again bucking prior generations’ preferences, and the brands or companies that don’t keep up aren’t likely to win customer’s trust.  Couples today want to personalize everything to do with their wedding, including their registry. A personalized wedding gift is the perfect way to select something sure to be cherished by one of your favorite couples.

Personalized registries like https://www.myregistry.com/ allows couples to collate gift ideas from diverse channels and stores. In the past, in order to offer options from more than one retailer, wedding coordinators would need to create multiple lists for each retail option. Now, personalized platforms allow for one centralized portal for all gifting to take place.

Opportunities for Promotions, Continuity, and Long-Term Loyalty

Ultimately, a wedding is an enormous opportunity for a brand to create a lasting attachment with a consumer. Weddings are inherently imbued with strong positive emotions; if your brand successfully captures this consumer sentiment, it can take advantage long-term in the form of lasting loyalty. Here are a few best practices to ensure your marketing tactics outperform the competition:

  • Tactical promotions for the big event
    • Wedding registries are inherently competitive, with dozens to hundreds of brands competing to get into a gift-givers shopping basket. Promotions that offer incentive (charity donations work particularly well) will encourage someone to purchase your brand over another

References

https://www.tripsavvy.com/wedding-statistics-and-honeymoon-facts-1860546
https://www.tripsavvy.com/wedding-statistics-and-honeymoon-facts-1860546
https://www.tripsavvy.com/wedding-statistics-and-honeymoon-facts-1860546
http://www.instyle.com/weddings/millennial-wedding-gifts
https://www.tripsavvy.com/wedding-statistics-and-honeymoon-facts-1860546
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wedding-guests-attend-an-average-of-2-weddings-per-year-and-spend-nearly-1000-per-wedding-toward-the-gift-attire-travel–accommodations-according-to-the-knot-2016-wedding-guest-study-300486086.html
https://www.brides.com/story/most-popular-wedding-registry-items
http://www.instyle.com/weddings/millennial-wedding-gifts
https://www.pymnts.com/consumer-insights/boomers-vs-millennials/2017/millennials-vs-baby-boomers-wedding-registries-more-experiences-less-flatware/
https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2017/wedding-registry-trends-courtesy-of-wayfair/
http://theweek.com/articles/737043/inside-booming-online-wedding-registry-industry
https://www.businessinsider.in/best-wedding-registry?r=US&IR=T
https://www.dealnews.com/features/Complete-Guide-to-Wedding-Registries/
https://www.personalcreations.com/blog/personalized-wedding-registry

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