Lifecycle Marketing Evolves Registries Beyond Bridal

Housewares vendors and retailers are expanding their brand presence with registry services. Registries are also creating housewares opportunities beyond bridal, as retailers and vendors position registries for other lifestyle, and lifecycle, milestones to build lasting relationships with customers.

The words “gift registry” bring to many people’s minds two events: weddings and showers. However, inviting consumers to create wish lists for other important life milestones beyond bridal is a way for retailers to connect with the registrant and purchasers beyond just a specific event.

There are many ways that a retailer can leverage a registry service, Susan Miller, svp/business development,, told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.

Miller noted that while registries are still most popular for weddings, followed by baby showers, has seen wish lists for other events grow exponentially, such as holidays, birthdays (i.e. Sweet 16) and graduations, with other events including housewarmings, back to college, and anniversaries.

“Registry services set up several opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with consumers that will drive sales and loyalty. Retailers can and should use existing marketing tools to include mention of registry,” said Miller.

In addition, if in March a retailer knows from their event date that a couple got married, it provides the opportunity to send them information around the holiday season to either create a wish list for their first holiday as a married couple, or just an invitation to shop with them, suggested Miller.

“It’s not just a generic email that says ‘shop with me.’ The messaging of the marketing effort that goes to target a person feels more relevant,” she noted.

“Useful information should be relevant to key events. For example, checklists of key and popular items that could be included for a wedding versus a graduation versus a housewarming, reinforces specific registries,” Miller added. When a retailer learns that registrants are planning a specific event or celebrating a specific occasion, “think of it as the start of a journey,” said Miller.

Universal Registries

The growth of e-commerce and omnichannel retailing has also driven the rise of universal registries in the market. Bridal couples and gift-giving consumers are finding that using one universal gift hub is creating a unified, personal and flexible registry platform for all their possible lifestyle needs, from the wedding to the baby and the home.

More retailers, from big box to small town boutiques, are taking advantage of universal platforms as a way to expand their consumer base, grow further exposure of their brand, and to become more top of mind with these consumers when it comes time for gift registering, or just gift giving. Many retailer, as well as participating manufacturer e-commerce sites, are also creating awareness by letting the consumer know that they are participating in the universal registry platform.

Universal registries started as a consumer solution, noted Miller, responding to the consumer desire to aggregate items from multiple retailers on a single list. Examples of such sites include Amazon, Zola and My Registry. Another form of universal registries are sites that aggregate registry lists. Consumers create registries with retailers with their own service and have them all linked and accessible at a single site. Sites such as The Knot and The Bump sync lists from multiple retailers that consumers can view at their bridal platforms.

For the full Registry Report, see the March 14, 2016, issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.