Wedding Trader interview February 2022

Wedding Trader interview February 2022

Click on the link below and take a look at the latest chat I had with Andy from Wedding Trader magazine, and read the related article I’ve written for you. It’s all about your bricks and mortar store vs online shopping.

Helena Cotter discusses the advantages of bricks and mortar stores in an age of online shopping. – Wedding Trader Mag

Online shopping and retail shopping in particular, is booming; we are all hooked aren’t we to a greater or lesser degree.

Many international luxury retail brands around the world continue to close the bulk of their physical bricks and mortar premises in favour of online stores.

Having said that, what they are replacing the many stores with is something which will be of interest to you as bridal retailers. New, different kind of stores – smart boutiques. Honed, and focused on great customer service whilst stocking fabulous capsule collections.

This is where you come in because as a bridal retailer this equates to what you have always offered and continue to offer.

As always, you are one step ahead of regular retail. A specialised niche environment; the pinnacle of customer service and care, selling the absolute best in wedding gowns and add on’s.

As we all know, buying a wedding dress can be highly emotionally charged and often fraught with drama.

For this type of large financial purchase, and one which represents probably one of the, if not the most important day of your customer’s lives, you cannot beat a physical premises.

Here then are some key pointers to help you enjoy continued success. How and where you can buck the trend for online shopping, thereby creating a superior experience for your customers.

  1. One of the advantages you have over internet shopping vs a bricks and mortar premises is that your customers can visually look at, physically get a feel for, and actually try dresses on in the most glamorous, caring and hands on surroundings.
  2. That all important human angle/touch/a feast for all the senses cannot be replicated online, and neither can rapport and relationship building.
  3. A huge 87% of customers want to have an actual real life experience before diving in and handing over their money! We still crave that human bond don’t we even in this modern digital era.
  4. The personal, individual shopping experience you offer contributes to the whole of the customer buying journey. This can often determine whether they choose to shop with you or not. The feel good factor.
  5. With 67% of people already used to and preferring     to shop online for all manner of items, you’ll need a strong online presence to encourage customers to visit your boutique in the first instance.
  6. 73% of customers will visit a shop, and probably buy there over purchasing online if the shop has produced enticing video content on their social media platforms. Fortunately, these days it’s never been easier to make and upload clips. So, let your creativity run wild!
  7. Yes, it is time consuming, however, the rewards of using it to encourage customers to your premises are boundless. You need to be speaking your customers language. Their language today is all about digital messaging. You need to step into their shoes and understand their world in order to communicate successfully.
  8. When you provide this coupled with a fabulous appointment, you’re onto a winning formula.
  9. Having a physical shop means look at me I am a business success story. It’s expensive to run a bricks and mortar premises, so there has to be a great deal of business acumen, natural flair, instinct, and real self -belief in order to survive.
  10. Working from a physical premises helps to build your brand credibility, reassurance in your services, and trust in you and any staff members abilities.
  11. Having skilled, knowledgeable staff who can help guide the customer, deal with queries, insecurities, and other issues from beginning to end of their journey will help you win over online purchases.
  12. Delivering a fabulous consistent level of customer service and simply cannot be matched online.
  13. Remember, customers (we do it too!) adhere generally to the “Research it online”, “Purchase offline” format.

Wishing you all the best. Keep up the amazing work.