Bed Bath & Beyond

For almost 20 years, Bed Bath & Beyond’s (BB&B) Wedding Registry dominated the registry marketplace. In recent years, new digital-native brands have eroded that leadership position as the BB&B registry started to feel dated and out of touch with the consumer needs of modern couples. Through an immersive audit and evaluation of the existing BB&B experience, aligned with the modern couple’s need and desire for home building, Combo defined multiple new business opportunities, including a recognition that the BB&B registry experience needed to start two years earlier and focus on home building over weddings.

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Rethinking the Wedding Registry

Going Beyond Transactional Data

The BB&B Registry was a critical business driver for the company and a significant acquisition channel for new customers. The business focus, however, tended to be on products over experiences, and so while BB&B operated from significant intelligence on product assortment, the motivations and considerations that compelled consumers to these products was a black hole.

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Developing Cooperative Research Design

Partnering with the BB&B research team, Combo strategists developed an innovative research design that set out to construct the first quantified registry journey map the company had ever created. Beginning with extensive shop-alongs with consumers and robust quantitative surveys of prospective, current and former registry customers, the strategy team was able to construct a journey map that identified core friction points and areas of untapped opportunity.

Our parents didn’t live together until they were married. When we moved in together, we already did an audit of items and had some stuff together.
Young Couple, Combo Wedding Registry Interviews

Recognizing a Key Finding

One key finding of the research was that while the BB&B registry targeted engaged couples, the actual needs of this audience began two years earlier when they began cohabitation ©. Because BB&B was missing this window, it was also missing out on the fundamental role of the brand to cater to the basics of home building versus the “upgrade” mindset.

© The trends of urbanization and cohabitation mean the majority of couples who sign up for a wedding registry are already living with each other.

While the consumer still gained a visceral value from creating their in-store or online wishlist, more and more couples had already created their starter homes and were focused on investing in experiences more than products—an area that was absent from the BB&B registry.

62% registered for objects for their current home.
Combo Wedding Registry Survey

Focusing Investment and Highlighting Potential

While reinventing the registry was an objective, not all components of the registry journey were broken. Combo helped identify the three core areas of the journey for investment that would yield the greatest impact and then developed solutions that demonstrated the type of investment that could yield the greatest return.

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