Insider tips for building a successful gift registry

The Power of Your In-Store Registry

The Power of Your In-Store Registry

Over the years, we have seen business increasingly become more multi-channel. Today, in addition to physical stores and websites supporting registry activity, partners talk about the growing use of digital platforms, social media and mobile apps.

Since each channel provides different benefits for customers, partners have asked us to provide a quick refresher on what makes each channel a valuable touch point for registry users. Here we focus on leveraging the power of your physical store. Future blogs will feature the benefits a website and assorted digital channels offer.

Why start with stores? For two reasons:

  • Stores have always been at the heart of registry use. In fact, 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the first recorded registry use—and it took place in a store. Back in 1924, a Chicago-based department store provided attentive service to its wedding clients and maintained handwritten registries that were manually updated by store staff. We’ve come a long way but those core concepts of service and guided gift planning are still the essence of a great registry experience.
  • Stores are still integral to registry use and it’s timely to take advantage of your physical locations. We are seeing a renewed interest in a return to physical store shopping; foot traffic has bounced back for those brands that have created energizing, interactive experiences.

Leverage in-store registry activity

As you would imagine, the competitive advantage for stores is the opportunity to offer a multi-sensory experience in an inviting social setting. All very obvious, so be sure you can check all of these boxes in your registry marketing communications, materials and signage

Here are the top benefits of in-store registry use you can promote.

Physical Interaction With Products: For many registrants trying to make the perfect gift choice, the ability to interact with products–see them, touch them, assess their quality, even try them out before choosing them–is the big win here. After all, many gifts are intended to be used and enjoyed for a long time. That all elevates a sense of importance for every item, and the physical interaction serves as an important way to validate gift choices.

  • For a registrant, the multi-sensory engagement helps validate the ‘this is just what I want’ thinking. This heightened involvement can offset the fact that your store may offer a more limited assortment than what is displayed online. Yet, don’t overlook the power of showing color, texture, size, etc. for a product through a sister item to expand the sense of assortment choice.
  • Many gift givers also appreciate the opportunity to physically touch the product they will gift. To do so often builds confidence in their choice. 

Personalized Assistance and Social Experience: Per above, registry gifts are thoughtfully chosen—selecting the perfect gift is serious business. That’s where a friendly, knowledgeable store associate comes in. Mindful to not be overbearing, an associate who listens to a registrant describe what they are looking for can make useful suggestions.

  • Registrants can actually streamline the gift planning process and stay on track with advice from knowledgeable staff. Along the way, the advice can build confidence that they will be happy with their gifts long into the future.
  • Gift givers can benefit from the assistance that expedites their shopping and avoids stress over decision-making. The social interaction as they make a gift purchase may also tempt them to do some personal shopping while in the store as well.

Walking a store presents opportunities to add items otherwise overlooked

Walking a store presents opportunities to add items otherwise overlooked: A clean, easy-to-navigate store invites registry users to browse and ultimately connect with more products. Enticing merchandise displays take it a step further and help registrants envision how products work. Easy access to informative signage, tips, etc. can also direct them to products they may otherwise have missed.

In fact, our research shows that, thanks to meandering around a store, registries and gift lists typically have more items on them and generate higher sales over time.

  • Invite the registrant to enjoy a relaxed and even aimless wandering of the store. Encourage them to discover unexpected ways to combine products to create a look that is uniquely their own. 
  • For gift givers, don’t be shy about reinforcing an impulse to self-purchase something. That’s their payoff for making the trip into the store..and what a nice convenience to treat themselves in that way.

Shop local and support a local business: A growing priority for many customers is to show loyalty for a neighborhood shop. Even when your store is part of a larger brand chain, you are still part of a local community. While a sense of brand loyalty is also possible shopping your website, the added sense of security and trust that comes with the in-store experience is well worth hyping.

  • Registrants often have a sweet spot for ‘shopping local’ because it evokes personal connections and a chance to show support. Even those who have moved away often retain emotional attachment to hometown shops.
  • Gift givers themselves may not be local but still respectful of a hometown favorite on behalf of the registrant. Offer them the ability to call in and enjoy personal service and guidance over the phone, and that can be a plus, too.

 Bottom line, 100 years later and there’s still a valued role for stores to play in registry activity. For those of you with stores who are not yet taking full advantage of this channel, let’s connect at and explore the possibilities.

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