Getting engaged is one of the most exciting and busiest times in someone’s life. Newly-engaged couples will usually plan their wedding for months, ensuring that they’ve selected the very best vendors to make their big day special. All of these festivities come with a steep price though, with couples spending on average $31,213 on their wedding day. While the venue is usually the biggest expense – the other costs can add up just as quickly. For clothing alone, for example, the expected cost of a wedding dress is $1,779, and that’s without counting the bride’s shoes ($156), the bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes ($591), and jewelry ($312).
It’s not hard to see that the economic stakes of weddings are high, and retailers can greatly improve their bottom lines if they incorporate wedding purchases into their sales strategy. Forward-thinking retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue have already done so, and include on their websites all the clothing a soon-to-be-married couple will need, as well as a Bridal Salon service to ensure brides can find the gown and accessories of their dreams. Here are a few techniques retailers can use to delight engaged couples.
Segmenting your audience is crucial, and understanding your customers from a geographic, demographic, and behavioral standpoint is essential. You can personalize the experience by using hyper-targeted messages, as most customers are open to receiving information during their wedding planning.
While today’s shoppers may be savvy, they are usually unfamiliar with the wedding world. When purchasing a wedding band, for instance, customers appreciate receiving detailed information about the entire process: where your stones come from, how you work with vendors, etc. Providing relevant information will not only educate potential customers, but it could also help you cater to their needs better. Jewelry retailers who use a modern clienteling solution can make personalized recommendations to clients, and even set up meetings, with just a few clicks.
Brides and grooms-to-be are so emotionally involved with their wedding planning that retailers have a special opportunity to engage with them in thoughtful and personalized ways. Effectively communicating with them as soon as they walk into your store is extremely important, as you need to make that good first impression. Going beyond the impersonal, typical questions (“when did you two first meet”) is always refreshing to a client. Instead, sales associates can give valuable information to customers – from the vendors they’ve worked with in the past – to a few useful tips for their wedding days. This can also be an effective way to up-sell and cross-sell, but beware: customers won’t appreciate pushy associates and prefer a more genuine approach to selling.
While having meaningful conversations with customers is always great, ensuring you still communicate with them once they’ve left is equally important. What’s more, you should always ask your customers what their preferred communication channels are beforehand, so you could send follow-ups the right way. They may prefer SMS over emails, for example, and the use of one channel over the other might make a difference in the effectiveness of your messages. Connecting with customers on a personal level also means understanding what they really want.
The Right Social Media Platforms
Instagram and Pinterest are currently among the most popular social media platforms for weddings, and brands using them can reach out to brides in ways that will truly resonate. Every couple uses Pinterest with the same goal in mind: to find inspiration to create the wedding of their dreams. Pinterest boards help today’s shoppers organize their favorite items – sometimes as a gift registry – and consult them at any time. So, what can retailers do to make customers purchase their items on these social media sites? Buyable Pins, for example, are effective tools for retailers to use. They allow customers to make purchases for their weddings without ever leaving Pinterest. Promoting your brand through social media is a smart way to appeal to today’s brides and grooms.
Modern retailers need to have a feature-rich e-commerce platform that uses cutting-edge technology in order to be competitive. In particular, jewelry retailers should work with vendors that are dedicated to their specific needs. While regular vendors may not understand that the images of the wedding bands on your website must be of the highest quality, a jewelry-industry professional most certainly will – and will work hard to exceed all your expectations.
Once your site is up and running, how can you drive traffic to it? This is where SEO comes into play. SEO-friendly features are ideal for jewelry retailers trying to gain more visibility online. Creating engaging content is sure to get a couple’s attention and they may even borrow a few ideas from you. Incorporating live chats to guide customers through their purchases is also a great way to ensure they’ve found the right items. While there is no secret recipe to delighting engaged couples, they all ultimately hope to experience the best day of their lives, and your role as a retailer is to help them reach this all-important goal.