The Knot Gets Tighter with AOL

Online wedding resource and gift registry the Knot has renewed its vows with America Online (NYSE: AOL), and will now become the premier wedding content partner for AOL, CompuServe, AOL.com and Netscape Netcenter. Additionally, the firm will be an anchor tenant in the registry area of Shop@AOL, Shop@CompuServe, Shop@Netscape and Shop@Digital City.

The Knot will provide wedding planning information, tools and community features for AOL’s Weddings area. The online resource will also create exclusive content for CompuServe.

The Knot launched in August of 1996 with seed funding from AOL. The company has leveraged its relationship with AOL into a service that now registers more than 1,300 brides and grooms each day.

“Being the premier wedding content partner for AOL has allowed us to reach the largest and most valuable audience online, said David Liu, CEO of the Knot. The new deal runs through 2003.

The Knot Expands Gift Registry

Earlier this month, the Knot announced a major expansion of its gift registry service. Among the new categories are tabletop, bed and bath, home and garden, camping gear, major appliances, computers, home fitness equipment, furniture, power tools and jewelry. Since its launch in November of 1998, the registry has expanded to feature more than 10,000 items. The growth has been fueled by a $15 million investment from QVC, which allows the Knot access to their distribution services and manufacturer relationships.

“We saw the bridal registry process as very broken — and we wanted to fix it,” Liu said. “Before launching our registry, we did initial research which showed that, more than anything, engaged couples were looking for a wide variety of products and convenience — two things they clearly weren’t finding in the brick-and-mortar registry world. Rather than partner with a retailer, who would control a lot of the process, we decided that doing it ourselves was a much better business strategy — both for us and for the consumer.”

The Knot has also recently secured multi-million, three-year marketing partnerships with online credit card company NextCard and online jewelry retailer Mondera.com. NextCard’s Internet Visa is now the exclusive credit card at the Knot, and the Knot is showcasing Mondera.com’s catalog by creating an area devoted to buying wedding rings.

Company Looks to Expand Offline

The Knot is currently focusing on becoming a multimedia brand. The company recently released the first of three books that will be published by Broadway Books, and is working toward launching a television show and a print magazine.

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