Retailers offering wedding registries face a growing challenge from pure play competitors, such as registry startup Zola. Between April 2015 and 2017, Zola’s organic search traffic surged from 10,000 visits to nearly 64,000, while traditional retailers saw minimal growth – if any – on their top branded registry terms. Zola and other disrupters do a few things differently from established players, according to L2’s Wedding Registries report.

For one thing, they put mobile first. While Crate & Barrel, West Elm, JCPenney, and Target have made moves to address registry users with standalone apps, Zola recently launched a wedding app that extends beyond the registry to the entire wedding planning process, coordinating to-do checklists, deadline trackers, and guest lists. Bed Bath & Beyond and Bloomingdale’s take the reverse tack, integrating registry tools into existing brand apps – a strategy that may be effective for those who already use these apps, but could limit potential adoption.

Wedding registry apps

Even more importantly, pure play startups invest strategically in search to drive registry-owners to their sites. Zola consistently bids against competitors’ branded terms, owning over 30% of paid ads across 38 branded search queries during the study period. In April, the top paid keyword driving traffic to Zola’s site was “Macy’s.”

Daily Insights in Your Inbox

Edit your preferences or unsubscribe