Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Bridal Registry ‘A-Ha Moment’

These days, it’s more common than not for a chain to offer a gift-registry service. But a recent shopping trip sparked an “A-Ha Moment” for me: Those retailers that want their registry service to stand out from competitors -- and even be viewed as “special” -- need to pay attention to the smallest of details when closing a “gifting” sale.

It all started with an invite I received to a bridal shower. It contained an insert listing the stores where she and her fiancé were registered: Fortunoff’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Since the invites were mailed after Fortunoff’s demise, my choice was easy.

I hit www.bedbathandbeyond.com to get some ideas and there it was -- an 8x10 Lenox frame that had the right combination of elegance and price.

Upon arriving at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond store, I made a beeline straight to the bridal and gift-registry section, an impressive department filled with a complete assortment of fine china, everyday-ware and other fine gifts. The department supervisor welcomed me, and printed out my friend’s bridal registry.

We chatted briefly about the details of Susan’s upcoming shower, including venue, date and whether it was a surprise. Then I pointed out my gift, and within minutes she returned with the frame. We were off to a good start.

As she handed me the frame, I asked, “You don’t gift wrap here?”

“Of course we do,” she said. “Did you need that wrapped?”

I was suddenly confused. She knew it was for a shower. That should have been her first question before even handing over the frame.

This all got me thinking: Now, more than ever, chains need to focus on customer service. Paying attention to even the smallest of details makes all the difference. In-stock merchandise and attentive associates are great, but ensuring that I am set with wrapping, greeting cards and gift receipts are just as important.

Not to mention, I was a prime candidate for a little upselling. Did I need a wishing well suggestion? Did I want to consider any wedding gifts? Unfortunately, the associate missed her opportunity to find out.

Clearly, the chain has the fundamentals of a successful gifting program in place. By following my aforementioned suggestions, however, I think Bed Bath & Beyond could move beyond a retailer that merely offers a gift registry, and establish itself as the gifting destination.

-- Deena M. Amato-McCoy

1 comment:

Hank Reinhart said...

I was quite interested to read your posting dated April 21. First, I would like to apologize that you did not have a better shopping experience in our store. I would welcome your feedback any time you visit one of our stores.
Hank Reinhart
VP Customer Service & Bridal Registry
Bed Bath & Beyond

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