Best Buy’s wedding registry is for gadget lovers

Discussion
Feb 13, 2015

In over 25 years of marriage, my wife and I have used the silverware and china that was part of our wedding registry a grand total of one time. If only Best Buy had launched its wedding registry back in 1988, perhaps we would have gotten gifts that would have been both more practical and fun. They certainly wouldn’t have required polishing like the sliver.

Best Buy launched its wedding registry last month with little fanfare. The idea behind the concept is pretty simple and seems perfect for Millennials and the tech savvy generations that are following them. Instead of gifts such as china, linens or silver, married couples can ask for smartphones, tablets and widescreen televisions, etc.

"Electronics and small appliances are as important to today’s newlyweds as silverware and towels," Wendy Fritz, Best Buy’s head of gift strategy, told The Associated Press.

Because many of the items sold by Best Buy tend to be priced higher than typical gifts in wedding registries, the chain has developed an option that allows people to contribute to more expensive items.

According to the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune, the wedding registry is Best Buy’s attempt to cater to modern couples. It offers women, who hold sway over major household purchases such as appliances, an alternative to other registries. It also gets prospective grooms involved who may have little interest in some of the traditional gifts that make up wedding registries.

Consumers can currently access the chain’s registry online at BestBuy.com/WeddingRegistry. Next week, Best Buy will update its mobile app to include the registry and the retailer plans to add kiosks at its more than 1,000 big box stores in the U.S. by April. While shoppers will not be able to order items at the kiosks, they will be able to print out lists from a registry. Couples who sign up for the Best Buy registry may also link it with those on MyRegistry.com and Theknot.com.

"One of the things that will make it more of a challenge is that people don’t normally associate Best Buy with weddings," Dave Brennan, co-director of the University of St. Thomas Institute for Retailing Excellence, told the Star Tribune. "So it’s going to take some time to see whether or not this is really going to work."

Do you think there is a market for a wedding registry through Best Buy? What will it take for it to be successful?

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12 Comments on "Best Buy’s wedding registry is for gadget lovers"


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Chris Petersen, PhD
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Since a high percentage of marriages involve “young” people who are digital natives, you have to wonder why Best Buy didn’t do this sooner.

As the article points out, Best Buy isn’t typically associated with weddings. But this is a classic example of how a retailer can quickly build an association through social media. Brides are “Pinterest Divas”—there should be an immediate opportunity to promote the Best Buy registry via Pinterest tie-ins.

I really like this move by Best Buy. Low-cost investment with great potential for branding and sales. And if they don’t do it, what’s the alternative? Amazon?

Cathy Hotka
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Genius idea, and overdue. Millennials are waiting longer to marry, and come to the marriage with household goods of their own, but probably not that set of Sonos speakers they’ve been craving. Mr. Joly is an impressive strategist. There’s just no downside to this move.

Zel Bianco
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

There is absolutely a market for a Best Buy wedding registry. As the article discusses, couples need electronics just as much (and usually more) than they need china and cheese boards. To succeed Best Buy will have to do some marketing to get the word out, and they will have to give couples a reason to register for their big screens through Best Buy instead of Target or other stores where couples register for a wide variety of items. However, I think the ability to contribute to a higher-priced item with be a great feature and go a long way towards differentiating Best Buy from the competition.

I think Best Buy will be a go-to for the friends of a young couple looking to pool their money for a larger, more fun gift.

RIchard Hernandez
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

I LOVE THIS IDEA! This is definitely a idea whose time has come. Lots of times couples already have china, sheets, etc., so this is a great option. No investment, lots of potential and definitely something that needs to be marketed on social networks so people will know about it.

Max Goldberg
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Great idea. Why should wedding registries be limited to what Macy’s, Crate & Barrel and Bed Bath & Beyond sell? Best Buy needs to get the word out so couples sign up for the registry. They don’t need to generate huge sales, but opening this new channel could help their bottom line, and a few years from now, registering at Best Buy will seem like a normal thing to do.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Great idea. Like many people we got items for our wedding that were seldom, if ever, used. Having the ability to register for items from a retailer like Best Buy would have allowed us to offer those who wanted to the opportunity to purchase a broader range of items.

The registry offers a checklist of items you may want, free shipping with any purchase, offers extended returns and exchanges, group buying, etc. What’s not to love?

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Absolutely! I’m surprised it took them this long to implement the concept. I know this concept was presented to them more than 10 years ago but they were riding the wave of success and they hadn’t yet put forth their customer-centric strategy.

Let’s not forget that Best Buy is selling more than electronics. Household appliances are also in their retailing wheelhouse. I’m sure Samsung would support any initiative to have their logo prominently displayed in every room of those newlyweds!

The success of this initiative will be based on Best Buy’s ability to reach and engage the groom in the concept of registering for gifts for the forthcoming nuptials. This has traditionally not been a “groom participation” sport.

Shep Hyken
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

It isn’t expensive to set up a website for a wedding registry. So why not? It’s another channel to connect with customers. Why don’t more retailers set up a wedding registry?

Lee Kent
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Kudos, once again, to Mr. Joly and Best Buy. They do know their customers and they are giving said customer what they want. I love the contribution model for those high-ticket items.

When I read this I couldn’t help but think of Amy on “The Big Bang Theory.” She said that when she got engaged she couldn’t wait to register at the cadaver morgue.

Same thing really…to each his own!

And that’s my 2 cents.

Christina Ellwood
Guest
Christina Ellwood
7 years 3 months ago

Yes, there is a market for a wedding registry through Best Buy. It will take some marketing and time to create the positive connection between weddings and Best Buy but it can be done, and it is worth doing. Well done, Best Buy!

Gajendra Ratnavel
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

For a wedding, a registry at Sears is probably a better fit since you can get your bedding as well as a big screen TV there. Having said that, there are plenty of Best Buy loyalists who would welcome this.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Absolutely!

I think George is right (remember George, water with a splash of vinegar to polish that silver, not those toxic silver polishes), many people would rather have a big screen TV or a new phone rather than place settings for eight, six of which may never be taken out of the cupboard.

As to what it will take to make an intuitively good idea profitable, the answer is marketing and advertising in new venues. The trick will be to connect with the very-targeted bridal market, something I suspect that will be fairly new to them.

I’m not a faithful reader of Brides or other such genre magazines but if Best Buy isn’t advertising in them, they should.They might also try some guerrilla techniques like having local stores run ads in church bulletins offering a small discount.

After all, you have to fish where the fish are.

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