The Customer Decision Journey in Bridal: Conversion Stage
This is the last installment in our series about the customer decision journey in bridal wholesale. If you haven't read our previous posts, you can start here and read your way up to this last post.
The 'conversion stage' of the customer decision journey is the last of the three stages. This is where your lead decides whether he or she will be carrying your brand or go with someone else's. Ideally, you have created digital content in the previous two stages addressing all the initial questions a buyer might have about your brand. Now is the moment when your sales rep gets involved and closes the sale, although marketing still plays an integral part here as well. In other words, marketing still needs to create content that will help move the prospect from evaluation to an actual purchase.
The content and actions that specifically address this stage consist of the following (keep in mind your sales and marketing team should be working together here):
1. Stories from existing retailers. These can be in the form of reviews or a simple story that answers questions about how your brand has handled special bride orders, gown requests, rushes, bridal market, or about the overall gown quality.
2. Comparisons sheets. This is something other industries have been doing for a while and which, no doubt, bridal lines will soon be implementing. At this stage of the buying journey your prospect is comparison shopping. You have to have a clear understanding of who your main competitors are, as well as your own value proposition: What are you offering that they are not? Look at lead times, quality, price points, etc. Create a list that shows your lead why you are the better option.
Pro tip: Use Google suggestions by typing your [or your competitors'] names and check to see what the Google suggested searches show below. This could be anything from price point to quality to whether the line is sold in certain stores or areas.
3. Trunk shows or loaners. Trunk shows can make or break a sale so my advice is a) you make sure your prospect is serious about buying the line b) your line and the boutique are a great match c) that you send gowns during a busy weekend - preferably during bridal season. I've talked about how trunk shows are a double edged sword for bridal brands and how you need to be very careful about setting up trial trunk shows.
4. Live calls or online mini class. This is an excellent way to have a more personalized conversation with a prospective buyer from a different state or country. If you have set up a trunk show and are unable to be there, the next best thing is to host a live call with the boutique owner/buyer as well as the bridal consultants. But even if the store is not hosting a trunk show, you or your sales rep should consider doing this in order to showcase gowns that they may not be able to see in person, or just have a conversation about the brand. Again, this is common practice in many industries and frankly I don't see why it shouldn't be common practice in bridal.
I want to emphasize that at this stage both your sales and marketing teams are working together to close sales. Numbers 1 and 2 definitely belong to marketing, but sales can help here by providing information they know the prospect will need in order to make a decision. Numbers 3 and 4 belong to sales, but again, marketing should be there to provide support.
The bottom line is this is where sales and marketing have a conversation about the type of content prospective retailers will need to make an informed decision. If your team carefully plans the digital content for the previous two stages, this part will be infinitely easier, and your sales team will be in a better position to close that sale.
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