Advantages of Offering a Universal Registry


When I began prepping for my wedding four years ago, I was really excited to register for—and receive—gifts. After all, when would I ever have that kind of opportunity again? My husband and I already lived together, so while there were a fair number of household items we wanted—or, let’s be honest, I wanted—such as a stand mixer and wooden salad bowls, there wasn’t too much we needed in the way of dishware and linens. We were also renting an apartment at the time, so we had neither the need nor the space for a lot of big-ticket items. Besides, we were much more interested in board games and camping gear than fine china. Long story short, we ended up having three separate registries; one at Bed Bath and Beyond, one at REI, and one purely online through The three were completely separate and had to be searched individually. It irked me a little bit that we were only registering with big name places, but I thought registering with smaller businesses would be too much of a hassle, especially if there were only a few items at each store that we liked. aims to make my experience a thing of the past by allowing brides-to-be—and mothers-to-be, and graduates-to be, and non-profit coordinators, and anyone else who might use a gift registry—to create a single unified gift registry spanning stores large and small, of both the online and brick-and-mortar variety. All a consumer needs to do is create an account with the site and then add an “Add to MyRegistry” button to their browser. Once they’ve done that much, they can add any item they see online to their registry. And if they see something in person that they want, they can scan the barcode with their smartphone in order to add it. The registry can also be synced with registries created through a number of major stores, such as Target, REI, Walmart, Williams Sonoma, and Sur la Table. Pinterest pins can even be imported as gifts; this is a universal registry that is truly universal.

What does this mean for the small business owner? If you run a business that sells household wares or other items that make great gifts for life-changing events like weddings or having a child, then it is probably in your interest to provide a gift registry. However, customers may shy away from utilizing a registry exclusive to a small business—just as I did prior to my wedding. Partnering with a company like cuts through the barriers consumers face when it comes to registering with small businesses, because now they won’t only be registering with your store, they’ll be registering with all the big names retailers at the same time. It’s easier for the person creating the registry, and it’s easier for the people purchasing items from the registry. This increased ease can translate into increased sales for your business.

If you have an online store, your items can already be added to someone’s registry via their personal “Add to MyRegistry” button. However, merchants can go a step further and partner with for $14.95 a month. This fee gets you enhanced branding on the MyRegistry site, access to a Merchant Dashboard to manage inventory and track customers, and additional marketing opportunities—announcing the partnership with, for example. Partnering with also allows merchants to customize and place the “Add to MyRegistry” button on their website however best suits their individual business.

Is it worth it? That depends on your business, of course. Partnering with the site doesn’t require a contract or long-term commitment and can be canceled at any time. For fifteen dollars a month, it might be worth giving a try. launched in 2005, and I got married in 2010. That means it existed when I was registering for my wedding, I just didn’t know about it. I wish some of the eclectic shops I lived near at the time had partnered with the site, or a site like it, and that they had advertised the partnership. I would have been thrilled to have used something like Not only would my wedding guests—and their money—have supported local businesses, but it would be have been easier to place items on my registry that reflected my husband’s and my personalities better than the standard Bed Bath and Beyond fare. That’s what I call a win win situation, for business owners and their customers.

Written by Alex Mehler

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