The national average wedding cost in 2015 was $28,958, and “74 percent of couples go over their budget” according to a research report from the WeddingWire. This fact clearly shows that most newly engaged couples in America tend to overspend on their wedding reception. However, the less obvious ramifications of this overspending is highlighted by Emory University Economics professors Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon in their paper, ‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration. They determined that the amount spent on a wedding is significantly negatively correlated with the marriage’s duration, even when controlling for socioeconomic factors. This major finding highlights the undesirable impact that overspending on wedding receptions causes. In order to solve this issue, we created Engagemint.
Engagemint is an online wedding planner and registry that encourages newly engaged couples to budget cost-effectively. Essentially, Engagemint is your one-stop shop for creating the perfect cost-sensitive wedding. Initially, the user would sign up by simply inputting basic personal information such as non-intrusive geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic data – an easily executed task for all ability levels. The couple’s initial motivation stems their desire to save money. Our proprietary recommendation algorithm would then suggest an appropriate budget for your wedding party alongside an insightful display of similar couple’s wedding cost. We believe that this personalized budget and display of nearby or similar couples’ budgets will successfully entice newly engaged couples to save on their wedding party. The personalized and comparable budgets represent BJ Fogg’s spark trigger (as discussed in his paper, “A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design”). Once the couple agrees to a budget, we provide them with local and cost-effective party planning essentials such as florists, decorators and caterers.
However, Engagemint is more than a party planning website. Our most unique feature is our enhanced registry. This component allows users to input standard gift wish lists, determine their desired cash vs gift allocation, and exchange unwanted presents for cash. Guests of the wedding are then able to not only browse the tagged gifts but also determine if the couple prefers to receive cash presents.
Engagemint not only saves newly engaged couples money by allowing them to efficiently plan their party and exchange undesirable gifts for cash but also is a profitable business. Engagemint has two main streams of revenue: third-party processing fees and the gift exchange. Each time a couple finds and uses a suggested third-party service provider such as a caterer or decorator, we charge this company a processing fee. Additionally, we anticipate that Engagemint’s most significant stream will be from its gift exchange. In this process, we allow the couple to liquidate their duplicate or unwanted gifts for a slightly discounted (97%) cash value. We are then able to resell these unused gift items to large retailers or through online market places such as Amazon at its full value, yielding a 3% gain. This gift exchange gives the couple the desired cash without the hassle of locating a buyer and shipping the product. To further expediate the gift-reimbursment process (i.e. boost the user’s “ability”) , Engagemint will send a delivery man to the couple’s doorstep to pick up the gifts to exchange. It is necessary to discount the gift value because Engagemint is not only providing a service, liquidity, but also must be compensated for the inherit inventory risk that Engagemint is exposed to.
We believe that the couple will be sufficiently able and motivated to use Engagemint because we provide numerous ways the couple can save money in a seamless and integrated user interface. Along with this monetary motivation and simplistic design, the user is also presented with BJ Fogg’s spark targets to ensure completion of the sign-up process and interest in Engagemint’s products. In short, Engagemint is both a profitable business operation and a useful money-saving tool for newly engaged couples designed according to BJ Fogg’s behavior model’s principles.