Etsy Hopes Brides Will Say I Do to Personalized Wedding Registry Experience
Etsy continues to rework its positioning to encourage consumers to think of Etsy as a go-to destination for all things shopping, instead of a niche platform for handmade and vintage items. The company is launching its Wedding Registry experience, in a bid give customers more reasons to shop with Etsy.
“Buyers too often think of us only for very specific needs are at the end of their shopping journey when they can’t find the item somewhere else,” Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said during their Q1 2023 earnings call on May 3.
Although this move may seem targeted towards a specific market, it is actually part of a larger effort to establish Etsy as the preferred destination for shoppers across a range of categories.
During the experience, couples are able to generate, handle and distribute their registries. In addition to handmade and vintage products, personalized items can also be included in the registry with specific customizations indicated for their guests, providing Etsy as a comprehensive source for gifts, wedding decor, and even bridal party items — all while showing support for small businesses.
Alongside the introduction of the registry, Etsy has disclosed the 2023 wedding trends, encompassing extravagant floral arrangements, lovecore — a style defined by heart motifs and red and pink hues — distinctive wedding bands, the trend towards statement accessories instead of the wedding gown taking center stage, and the transition to more sentimental and personalized wedding gifts for the newlyweds.
It’s evident that personalization is the central theme of these trends, which is something brands and retailers are acknowledging and reflecting upon during their earnings recap.
Personalization Is Demand
The demand for personalization is prevalent across all levels, whether it is via customized promotions from brands or retailers, or the ability to craft personalized presents for loved ones.
In fact, data that shows 71% of consumers expect personalization. Furthermore, at least 50% have expressed interest in purchasing customized products or services, and half of those consumers have revealed that they are willing to wait longer for these products or services.
That being said, it may be easier to comprehend that BaubleBar’s patrons are willing to endure up to seven weeks of wait time for a personalized hairbrush.
Despite initially seeming like a niche item, consumer actions have proven that BaubleBar's emphasis on personalization has struck a chord with its target audience. The brand has capitalized on this demand by offering a customizable product range, catering to the increasing consumer preference for personalized items.
See also: Who Waits 7 Weeks for a Personalized Hairbrush? Apparently BaubleBar Customers
Wedding Personalization Trends
Personalized wedding gifts — Etsy reported a surge in searches for personalized recipe boxes, with a 71% increase in searches on their platform. Additionally, there has been a 65% increase in searches for custom couple portraits and a 37% increase in searches for custom song plaques.
The shift follows the sentiment that consumers are leaning toward more meaningful and personalized products. As a result, people are now seeking to gift customized items on special occasions, such as weddings, to celebrate the unique love story of the newlyweds, moving away from generic gift options.
Rings with character — Etsy has observed a trend where couples are no longer interested in cookie-cutter engagement rings and wedding bands, preferring instead pieces that reflect their unique personalities and values.
According to Etsy, there has been a significant increase in searches for handmade engagement rings in the last three months, with a surge of 253% on their platform. In addition, alternative gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds and black diamonds are becoming increasingly popular, as are vintage rings with a history and antique craftsmanship. There is also a growing interest in unexpected stone placements.
In addition, Etsy reported an 82% surge in searches for teal sapphire engagement rings, a 63% increase in searches for Toi et Moi engagement rings, a 25% increase in searches for vintage wedding bands, and an 11% increase in searches for east-west engagement rings.
Statement accessories — Etsy also reported a significant rise in searches for wedding gloves, with a staggering 109% increase. Additionally, there has been a 23% increase in searches for white sunglasses and a 15% increase in searches for personalized bridal bags, indicating that modern brides are attaching greater importance to statement accessories for their weddings, with some even considering them as the focal point of their overall look instead of the dress.
The trend towards statement pieces suggests that modern brides are prioritizing the style elements that matter the most to them, and they are often mixing high and low fashion. For instance, they might pair a simple white dress with bold drop earrings or choose a cathedral-length embroidered gown.
Notes for David’s Bridal
While the association to David’s Bridal may seem off, it’s not. In April, David’s Bridal filed for bankruptcy for the second time in under five years.
See also: David’s Bridal Offers Membership Perks as Store Closures Loom
Despite the company’s explanation for filing another bankruptcy, the question still lingers as to why David’s Bridal ended up in this situation. The company cites the pandemic’s prolonged impact and shifts in consumer behavior as contributing factors. The national wedding rate has hit a 121-year low and remains below average.
In contrast, PYMNTS recently conducted a quick comparison with boutique clothing chain Francesca’s, which had also experienced bankruptcy but has managed to emerge successfully and is currently flourishing.
So, what did Francesca’s do right? Personalization.
Personalization can encompass various aspects, including tailored product recommendations, personalized marketing emails, SMS messages, or exclusive discount codes. However, it can also extend to the ability to customize and personalize product offerings, which is a distinction that BaubleBar has emphasized through its range of products.
For weddings in 2023, it seems like instead of generic, cookie cutter dresses, signage or even rings, we’re going to see a lot more character. And maybe, Etsy might have something to do with it.
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