Following months of managing rapidly evolving changes in how consumers shop, retailers such as Blue Rose Pottery are facing a holiday season that brings with it new challenges.
A tool that could help retailers navigate the rough waters of the current retail climate is gift registry. Once focused mainly on weddings and the birth of a baby, many retailers have expanded their registry offerings to include the holiday season, birthdays and housewarmings among others.
In the first of a series of stories on retailers utilizing gift registry as an important tool to drive sales and connect with shoppers, Kitchenware Today spoke with Sydney Moulton, a customer service representative with Blue Rose Pottery in Rock Hill, S.C.
Open since 2004, the retailer specializes in importing pottery made in Poland. Working with five factories in the Eastern European country, with two more coming online, Moulton said the handpainted items sold by her store are extremely durable and versatile.
In speaking with Kitchenware Today, she discussed the challenges her company has faced this year and how Blue Rose Pottery will utilize its registry program through MyRegistry.com as part of its sales effort this holiday season.
KITCHENWARE TODAY: How has business to-date been this year?
SYDNEY MOULTON: We are fortunate to be an online company. With people staying in a lot more they are gravitating to online shopping. We have been seeing big increases in sales. In fact, during the summer we hit sales figures that we normally see during our busy time in November and December. A big thing that has helped is selling on different platforms including Amazon, Target and eBay. That has been really invaluable to us.
KWT: What are some of the big changes you have seen in how your customers are shopping?
SM: We have been getting a lot of new customers, many of whom had not shopped online before. But having to stay home, they had no other option. However, that allowed them to see just how easy and convenient it is to shop online.
KWT: Over the years, how important has gift registry been to Blue Rose Pottery?
SM: Gift registry has been a great tool for our customers. It makes things easier for them as they are sharing what they want with others. That also brings in more customers, which has been really great for us.
KWT: Have you seen any changes to how shoppers are using gift registry?
SM: I have seen more personal wish list type of registries, and this is a trend that continues to grow. Customers basically can put together a list for everything they want. We have seen these lists used for birthdays, retirements and other special occasions. Registries are moving beyond only weddings and baby.
KWT: Will Blue Rose Pottery undertake any special promotions to educate consumers about gift registry?
SM: Social media is a great way for us to reach out to customers. I love connecting with people and use shout-outs to show why using a registry is a good idea, especially for the holidays. When we look at this year’s holiday season, we think people will start shopping earlier and as a result, we need to promote gift registry earlier as well.
KTW: What are your feelings about the holiday season?
SM: I’m very optimistic. I think we will be really busy. I’m excited to see what happens for the rest of the year.