Happy New Year, everyone! While 2021 ended with strong sales—holiday shopping and gift giving were at record levels—I’m guessing you’re as excited as we are to kick off a new year and leave the many challenges of 2021 behind. Overall, signs suggest that customers are eager to get back to normal. And as we see it, that means the possibilities for your gift registry have never been greater.
A new year always triggers planning for a new round of events of all kinds, but 2022 will bring added activity. As we ring out the old and bring in the new, there are three main reasons to get excited about the opportunities out there.
Tap Into Rebounding Event Activity
The two traditional cornerstone events in the registry market—weddings and new babies—offer huge upside this year. After nearly two years of pandemic restrictions, all the event cancellations and postponed plans are reversing themselves in a big way.
- Wedding activity will be busier than ever: For those of you who serve the wedding registry customer, expect to see two drivers of activity in coming months:
- This time of year is always prime engagement season, and we see it playing out once again. While the weddings that follow are likely to carry well into 2023, gifting activity will start this year.
- Postponed/cancelled wedding events have rebounded and will cause a huge spike in activity this year. The pandemic limited many celebrations for almost two years, and couples are making up for lost time. Whereas we typically saw more than 2.1 million weddings per year pre-pandemic, in 2022 we can expect a rebound and the highest number of weddings in almost 40 years—an anticipated 2.5–2.6 million events. With an average wedding generating as much as $10,000 in gifts, all those added weddings will drive a huge uptick in gift spending.
- Births are also on the rise, after dipping during the pandemic. After monthly declines of as much as 10% into first quarter 2021, couples have been steadily feeling more confident about building their families, and birth rates are bouncing back. Expect the stork, and baby registry use, to be busy all year—after all, it’s always baby season.
Take Advantage of New Routines
In general, prospects are better than ever for the creation and use of registries and wish lists for all sorts of occasions. We see more opportunities for gift registry use because customer habits changed somewhat due to the pandemic. For one thing, customers have adjusted their thinking about what they want and need, and that has prompted them to be more thoughtful when it comes to giving or receiving gifts, including being more outspoken about what they want. More than ever, there’s a desire to focus on what is most wanted/needed and on avoiding “clutter” or waste. At the same time, gift givers have come to appreciate how much easier (and more gratifying) gift shopping is when an item will be excitedly received.
- Every day is a celebration for someone, for some reason, and that has been driving steady use of wish lists. This past year, we saw wish list use increase by over 12%, and that is on top of a jump in 2020, when the pandemic first took hold and people turned to gifts to make up for the absence of in-person get-togethers.
- Birthdays present year-round opportunities and keep a registry or wish list working nonstop.
- Other noteworthy events (such as graduations, housewarmings, and the holidays) see seasonal spikes and offer you new messaging opportunities to highlight your gifting programs throughout the year. In the coming months, consider how you can support events like graduations and even Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And don’t forget that moves and new home setups kick in as summer approaches.
Remember to Catch Up with Current Registrants As Well
Here’s why: Chances are good that current registrants present more, and new, gifting possibilities. As the holiday frenzy winds down, it’s a perfect time to reconnect and share ideas to make those gift lists still productive for them.
- Registrants with future events will want to review their “gotta have” favorites now that the holiday gift exchange is over. That makes it a perfect time to suggest they update their registry or gift list, even adding new items as fresh merchandise flows in.
- Those registrants who already celebrated their event may have a few unpurchased items on their gift lists that they still want. Consider encouraging them to “complete” their list—perhaps by adding a special offer to entice them to shop. Of course, also remind them that their registry (with its flexibility to align with any celebration) can be repurposed and used for future events as well.
To keep track of all this, here’s a calendar that summarizes spring registry activity for 2022. It generally mirrors most years, with two notable exceptions:
- The spike in weddings due to cancellations and reschedulings over the past two years will see events coming more frequently in the first quarter, including many events scheduled on “atypical” days, such as weekdays.
- Housewarmings will also spread out more broadly in coming months, as many people choose to move again now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us. Whether it’s a young person settling into their own space or a couple or family establishing a new home base, expect to see more housewarming activity.
Use this calendar as a planning guide, but remember that there will be unusually high levels of activity going on.
So here’s to your registry heating up way before the thermometer says things should sizzle! As your 2022 calendar develops, don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help. We can always be reached at email@example.com.
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