An online registry for every store
While one-of-a-kind products, special keepsakes and unique finds give independent retailers a leg up on their big-box competitors, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to online registry services.
It’s easy for retail giants like Target, Crate and Barrel and Amazon to manage, maintain and host their online wedding registries with huge tech teams working behind the scenes. But the average independent retailer doesn’t have that kind of time, manpower or the budget to pay for it.
Enter Elsa Pinto-Melikian, founder and president of The Registry Network (877-872-0101 or theregistrynetwork. com), formerly Your Gift Registry. When she got married, she wanted to register at her favorite small gift store, but it didn’t offer an online registry. So she decided to level the playing field for the independent retailers who boast wedding selections that are equally as impressive — or even more so — as big-box stores.
“That was one of the goals for the company: to provide the tools for an independent retailer that wouldn’t have the knowledge to create an online registry, the desire to manage it or the pocket to pay for it,” says Pinto-Melikian.
In operation since 1997, The Registry Network is a one-stop shop for any store owner who wants to add an online registry service to increase sales opportunities. Each store is provided with professional, customized marketing materials with the store’s logo that provides registry information to brides and potential customers. Store staff works with the bride to create a registry list on paper, and then The Registry Network turns that list into a digital format, complete with photography. The fully encrypted list can then be viewed from the store’s own website with the simple addition of a “registry” button in the navigation bar. Just like any online registry at a big-box store, a landing page will appear that allows guests to search for the names of their bride and groom and purchase gifts.
“We make that page look just like their website,” she says. “We want the store to get all the praise for having a state-ofthe-art registry. We’re in the background.”
The Registry Network even provides training for the store’s staff so they know how to update a registry should a guest buy a gift in the store.
“We train staff on how to manage a bride and how to increase bridal registry sales. That’s part of the consulting that comes with the service,” she says. “So all staff has to focus on is registering a bride and then selling to guests. Everything in between is managed for them remotely.”
Also included in is a 24/7 toll-free customer service hot line that can answer any questions from guests or help place orders for those who do not have access to the Internet.
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