Wendy Southers of theknot.com was up early on Saturday morning for breakfast with Atlanta Apparel retailers. It’s old news that everyone needs a business website, but it absolutely has to be more than a landing page with basic information.
Southers offered five critical tactics for creating and maintaining a vibrant site that inspires appointments in store:
1. Avoid auto-sound. Almost 73 percent of brides-to-be are working women who are planning their weddings at work. They avoid anything that draws attention to what they’re doing – such a sound. Focus on having a simple, elegant homepage with critical store information and beautiful images.
2. You absolutely have to be mobile. At least four in 10 brides use a mobile device in their searches for the perfect dress. Make it easy for her to share information about what’s in your store and to access the info from anywhere.
3. Provide information about your collections. You work hard to shop Market and find an array of styles and choices. Brides have done the research, both on sites such as theknot.com and still using bridal magazines. More than 78 percent have a specific idea what they want. Be honest about what you offer and your price points. Consider editorializing your content using stories about individual brides and their experiences in finding the perfect dress with you.
4. Avoid outdated photos. These ladies still look through an average of 70 lbs. of magazines and search countless websites – they know what’s current. Your store will be judged by the images they see on your site. Make it glamorous so she can picture herself in your salon and in your gowns. Work with your vendors and sales reps to ensure you have stunning photos – it helps them to help you market. Everyone benefits.
5. Make contact information prominent so it’s easy to book an appointment and reach someone at the store. It’s a good idea to use an email popup instead of a form. It’s more personal and allows the bride to provide information. She also feels like she’s communicating with a real person – which she should be. Congratulate her when she calls! Convey that you’re happy for her and excited at the possibility of working with her to make her dream wedding a reality.
The gown is the centerpiece and sets the tone for the whole wedding. A bride is going to visit at least three stores before deciding where to buy. Making a positive, lasting first impression on your website goes a long way to inspiring her to choose to work with you.