Off the back of a quite controversial live stream I thought I would try my hand at blog writing.
So here goes…
Many of you who know me or have spoken to me will know I am hugely passionate about the bridal industry. I am trying my best to champion the road to changes I think are much needed. However I wont be going into that just now. That is a blog for another day. To dip my toe in the proverbial pool I thought I would share my views on the topic of conversion rates.
Conversion rates are crucial elements of any business, they are often measured, tracked and targeted. The basic principle of conversion in sales is, the point at which a lead becomes a client or customer. Bridal conversion rates can be tracked in a simple way. You look at how many appointments you have in one day, versus how many sales you made. This will give you a conversion percentage. Of course you want this rate to be as close to 100% as possible duh! There are however a few different factors affecting this all of which you can combat easily in my opinion. Non of them involve strong-arming customers or begging of any kind.
There are two main points of conversion within the bridal industry. Various different techniques and factors are involved in both.
Browsing to Booking
The first type of conversion we encounter in bridal is when a bride is browsing around for a wedding dress and then looks to make a booking at a boutique. In the past most of the work involved in this particular element was done by your stores location. Bridal shopping was as simple as “what boutiques are nearby?” and boom you got an appointment.
Like everything social media and the internet flipped this completely on its head. So now what made up roughly 90 percent of your lead generation is now down to I estimate a measly 15 percent. So the question now is where am I generating my leads from and how do I convert those into bookings? Check out my fun pie chart…..
You know what I’m going to say….
Social media is the key to generating leads. If you are not on social media or are avoiding using it every day then to be blunt your not working to your full potential! I know that sounds harsh and I really don’t mean it to be but sometimes you need that little push. I’m not going to deep dive into social media and how best to use it. That is what training courses are for and it would make this blog unbearably long. However I needed to mention it as it is SO important.
Ok, so you have social media and a website where potential customers can find out about you and hopefully book an appointment. Now you need to make sure these are both goldfish proof. What I mean by this is that within 5 seconds of clicking on your profile or your homepage, they should see exactly how to contact you or book their appointment. If it takes longer than that you risk loosing that booking. This might seem over dramatic but believe me it is true. (I usually call this Josh proofing as he is the worst for getting distracted while scrolling)
Is your stock stopping your sales?
Before you even get into sales techniques or anything like that you need to start at the very beginning. I’m going to try throw a musical theatre reference in now and again as it makes me smile. Your ability to convert an appointment into a sale starts with what stock you have in your store. So lets look at what I think are the 4 main reasons a bride will not purchase a dress. Therefor affecting your bridal conversion rates.
- Budget Self explanatory; if all your samples are retailing at over £1000 then you are cutting out a large number of customers.
- SIZING Again simple enough but not having a diverse range of sizes throughout your sample range again limits your potential sales.
- LEAD TIMES Especially now after the pandemic panic, weddings are being shuffled around left right and centre. These brides are already having to compromise on their guest list, venue and usually date. They shouldn’t then have to compromise on an off the rack dress because your lead times are 20+ weeks.
- INDECISION This is the only reason that can be some what out of your control. For example the bride either doesn’t know what she wants, has external pressures from the entourage or has appointments booked elsewhere.
As you can see 3 out of those 4 reasons are down to stock selection. Which is fully within your control and quite frankly an easy fix. I will go into more detail about how to tackle these issues in a later blog. Including dealing with entourages and how to make sure your suppliers are working for you!
I hope you have enjoyed my first blog attempt. If you would like to discuss this topic further please leave comments or drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org