The new bridal consumer is a Millennial, one of 76 million people under the age of 29 who approach shopping far differently from their baby boomer parents. Connect with Millennials on their turf and their terms by engaging them on their computers, smart phones, and Facebook and Twitter pages. This is where they live, learn, connect with friends, and investigate shopping options.
Don’t think of yourself as a retailer of bridal jewelry—there are thousands of those, all with similar, deep-rooted barriers for new shoppers. The challenge is to create an unexpected, pleasurable, and educational first experience. Here are four ideas to consider:
Host a bridal expo twice a year. Here, in one evening, brides-to-be can meet your trained associates as well as representatives from your best bridal jewelry vendors and local wedding-related businesses such as photographers, caterers, event planners, wedding dress boutiques, and florists. To help ensure success, hire an expert who’s skilled at planning prestigious, first-class events. It will pay huge dividends even beyond your bridal business.
Promoted properly (including on your Web site and your Facebook, and Twitter pages), it will communicate that you care about and understand the needs of brides and their families and that you’re not simply selling a ring. You’re performing a service for customers while building good will within the local business community.
Consider a bridal store-in-store. You can carve out a dedicated bridal environment staffed with specially recruited and trained associates. If nothing else, it will get your merchandising juices flowing.
Subscribe to bridal and fashion magazines. Require sales personnel to read them and also make them accessible to customers. Check which magazines your local upscale hair salon has on display. This is a minimal out-of-pocket idea with priceless benefits.
VisitTheKnot.com. Millions of brides-to-be have become “knotties” and you should join them. You’ll find a wealth of ideas for your store. In addition, visit the Web sites of the major bridal jewelry and wedding gown brands and count how many have added Facebook and Twitter pages. Do the same for your retail competitors.