Retailers Help Consumers Celebrate Life's Milestones - Virtually



National Retail Federation| May 26, 2020


Commencements-to-go and virtual weddings are a reality right now. Spring calendars traditionally are filled with celebrations, however many in-person celebrations have been postponed or canceled to slow the spread of COVID-19.


A number of retailers have developed innovative ways to help their customers carry on with these celebrations, virtually. In early May, restaurant chain Jack in the Box hosted a virtual, taco-themed, live-streamed prom featuring DJs Diplo and Dillon Francis.


Party City was offering an “at-home commencement ceremony in a box,” complete with banners and balloons.


Jewelry retailer Jared, a division of Signet, created a virtual wedding platform that allows couples to create custom digital weddings at no cost or obligation. As the reality of life under a pandemic took hold, Bill Brace, chief marketing officer, and his colleagues started the campaign to reflect their mission of "celebrating and expressing love." Within a matter of weeks, the technology was designed and built in-house.


Some research indicated that the pandemic impacted about 800,000 couples. Couples using the platform can create their own virtual wedding experience. They select the date, the theme and backdrop, electronic invitations and guest list, and identify officiants and speakers. The platform captures and archives the event.


Even once in-person weddings resume, typically not everyone invited is able to attend. Brace’s team is discussing whether the platform eventually could be used by couples to let non-attendees participate virtually.


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