According to MyRegistry, a universal online gift registry, consumers not only have become more tech-savvy and decisive, but they are getting married later in life and have become more efficient with their online shopping - and this doesn't just apply to brides or moms-to-be!
Like its demographic, the online registry is constantly evolving and becoming more non-conventional. So, whether you're a college student who's looking to up the ante and impress your friends with the latest gadget or gizmo or an independent, working girl who wants to celebrate a promotion or housewarming, sky's the limit.
"We have seen registries that have included items from more than 10 different stores and we have seen everything from a puppy to a private island appear on a registry," said Nancy Lee, President of MyRegistry.
If your friends and family aren't rolling in the Benjamins, then a private island might be a stretch, so you can go for tech-related gadgets instead: "Gadget registries are a relatively new but rapidly growing phenomenon," Lee adds. "The gadget registry is rapidly evolving because technology itself is constantly changing. Just a few years ago DVD players and camcorders were a registry staples and now they have been ousted by iPad's and BluRay players."
With the ever-changing trends in a competitive market, shopping isn't what it used to be - same goes for relationships! More couples getting married later in life, and have often already accumulated many of the household necessities that used to be registry staples, Lee points out. This also includes accumulated gadgets as well that become outdated much faster than a KitchenAid Mixer or high-end linens. So you'll be all set when you're whipping up frosting from a cooking app, like Epicurious!
What types of tech-related items are consumers registering for nowadays?
"It's very much based on the trend of the season," Lee explains. "Last year iPads were huge and now we are seeing a spike in Kindles with the release of the Kindle Fire. It's interesting to see items like these on wedding registries because they are really designed to be used by one person at a time. This used to be taboo on the wedding registry because every gift was meant to be something that would help the couple begin their married life together, but now in a world where everyone has their own iPod, computer or eReader, a tool for one is more acceptable."
Although "online shopping has become extremely streamlined already," Lee foresees an increase in apps and services that make shopping easier. As far as the forecast on the online registry side, "The Universal gift list industry, which has grown significantly in recent years, will continue to develop as people add more and more diverse items to their registries and realize that they can expand the boundaries of what is considered to be acceptable registry fare."
Gone are the days of guessing and receiving gifts that are the wrong size and fit - or model. While you're guaranteed the gifts you want, there's nothing wrong with the occasional obnoxious, yet oddly loveable reindeer sweater from your grandparents! But times are a-changing!
So, what made "MyRegistry's Best of 2011" list?
Top 10 Lifestyle Registry Items:
1. Apple iPad and iPad accessories
2. Monster Beats Headphones
3. Video Games
4. Nintendo 3DS Console
5. Gift Cards
7. Fitness clothing and equipment
8. Kindle and other e-readers
Top 10 Wedding Registry Items:
1. KitchenAid Mixer
2. Lenox Fine China
3. Calphalon Cookware Sets
4. OXO POP Storage Container 10-piece Set
5. OXO Everyday Kitchen Tool Set, 15-piece
6. Cuisinart SmartStick Immersion Hand Blender
7. SodaStream Jet Starter Kit
8. Keurig Coffee Maker
9. Wusthof Gourmet 12-piece Knife Set
10. Apple iPad
Top 10 Baby Registry Items
1. Bob Revolution Stroller
2. Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller
3. Sophie the Giraffe Natural Teether
4. Skip Hop Diaper Bbags
5. Ergo Baby Carrier
6. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Car Seat
7. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym
8. Bumbo Baby Seat
9. Puj Tub
10. Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat and Base