I’ve always been a big fan of the motto, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” That’s great advice in general, but critical when it comes to your bridal marketing strategy.
Question: How do you keep a brick-and-mortar bridal store running year-round?
Answer: Your digital marketing efforts must make wedding dresses relevant all year despite bridal industry seasonality. Here’s how to do it!
1. Define Your Season
Wedding dress shops do not have a full season to sustain their profit. It’s all boiled down to one key month: January. Don’t believe me? Just look at Google Trends. Search interest in wedding dresses spikes every January.
Obviously, there are many other ways bridal shops make money, including alterations, veils, jewelry, and shoes. They also sell other formal dresses throughout the year. But those sales don’t compare to the January jump.
Why does bridal marketing and dress shopping increase in January?
Typically, engagement season peaks in autumn. According to WeddingWire’s research, they calculated that 40% of couples get engaged between November and February. Further, 76% of weddings happen during the summer and fall months. As a result, recently engaged couples start planning as soon as the holidays come to a close.
When you fully understand the purchase lifecycle, you can plan effective bridal marketing campaigns for your busy season. Do customers begin their search a few months before the busy season? How can you build brand awareness before they’re ready to buy?
2. Be Aware of Current Trends
Keep an eye on current trends to spot content ideas for your bridal marketing strategies. There are countless 12-month wedding to-do lists that reveal when a bride should check certain items off her list. FYI, the dress should be finalized 7-8 months before the wedding date. Given the wedding season, that’s why January is the most popular time for brides to search for a dress online.
So how can you develop a bridal marketing strategy that brings consistent revenue throughout the year?
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
The short answer, you need a bridal store marketing plan.
Stay on top of the trends and conversations within the digital space or from experts in bridal magazines. As you can see from the Google Trends data, searches for the term “wedding dresses” have declined over the last five years.
Let’s look at some ways you can combine those insights with shopping trends from their own stores to create an effective marketing strategy.
Bridal Marketing Planning Tips:
- Highlight what sets you apart from your competition and incorporate your strengths into your advertising and online presence.
- Find timely events, holidays, and influencers to incorporate into your brand messaging throughout the year to increase brand awareness.
- During the planning phase, include others in the company who are not usually part of the decision process to highlight purchasing trends they’re noticing.
4. Boost Interest During the Off-season
If you want your bridal marketing strategy to be effective you need to attract consumers during the off-season. Brides don’t typically shop for wedding dresses first. So you need find a way to spark their interest earlier in the planning cycle.
It is also important for bridal shops to analyze the interactions between consultants and potential customers. What impression did they leave with? Word-of-mouth is still one of the biggest modes of communication within the bridal industry.
Recently, bridal stores capitalized on Alfred Angelo’s bankruptcy. How? They offered discounts to desperate brides and their bridal parties. That marketing move will likely result in valuable bridal shop recommendations for years to come.
Here are several more ways to connect with your target audience and grow sales in the off-season!
Tips to Increase Interest in the Off-season:
- Inspire consumers to think differently about your product or service.
- Know your customers’ timeline, and be ready with the perfect solution.
- Deliver a positive experience, offline and online, to maintain a positive reputation.
5. Get Creative
Learn more about the brides who come into your shop. That’s not just to build a rapport. You need to understand the headspace of the bride, as well as her personality, her timeline, and how a dress fits into her vision.
For example, ask about the venue. You can learn a lot about a couple from their wedding’s location. It’s also one of the first items a bride checks off her list. When you understand how specific choices influence a wedding, you can figure out how to reach new customers them digitally.
Bridal shops can consider surveying their brides and pick the top five most popular venues in your area as an experiment. Use geolocation filters on Snapchat at those venues to pique interest as couples are considering the event space or as couples are documenting their day. This same idea can also be applied to local bridal expos and other wedding-related places throughout the bride’s journey.
Tips to Think Creatively:
- Think out-of-the-box marketing techniques. What will get you seen in a new way? What will make your product/service appear more attractive?
- Keep the consumer in mind. Why will they appreciate the approach you take to reach them and in a way they will remember you and want to be part of your brand more than just during a small part of the year?
Now is the perfect time to update your bridal marketing strategy. For any seasonal business, you can boost sales during slow periods if you figure out how to increase awareness and interest.
Use seasonality to your advantage. Innovate and adjust your approach as needed. Create engaging content throughout the buyers journey that prompts them to take action during the off-season.