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Could e-commerce benefit your bridal business?

Bridal Buyer interviewed three boutiques who have taken the plunge into the world of e-commerce. We found out why they made this venture and how it has benefitted their business.

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What drove you to add e-commerce to your site?

Dotty Bridal

When the first lockdown hit I soon realised that we needed a revenue stream and a way of making money to pay the bills. We were still receiving enquires from brides asking to buy items such as accessories. We also hosted an online sale in a closed Facebook group which did really well so we soon saw that there was a real need to sell online.

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

Adding an online selling platform to our website has always been a goal of mine, but the website at the time didn’t allow for the functionality. We had a re-brand for the boutique during the first lockdown and with the forced closure it felt like the right time to produce a new website and add this as an additional revenue stream.

Jade Alexandra

My vision when opening Jade Alexandra Bridal was to always sell merchandise, to expand the brand. I noticed there wasn’t a huge number of dedicated online sites that sold bridal merchandise. I wanted our brides to have an opportunity to purchase some to enjoy and make the most of their time as a bride.

Did you have a clear vision for what products you wanted to sell?

Dotty Bridal

We knew that we only wanted to sell our accessories online, never our dresses, as this is a minefield with new orders. We now sell all our hair accessories, veils, underwear, shoes, and branded merchandise via our website.

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

We have all our sample sale gowns available to buy, plus our hair accessories and most recently our clothing and gifts range. I wanted to give customers the opportunity to buy their wedding dress or accessories even if they couldn’t come to the boutique for the whole experience. I launched a clothing and gifts range called LP Boutique at the end of last year, which was created as an extension of The Little Pearl Brand. I wanted to create a range of luxury casual wear and gifts, including hoodies, jumpers, t-shirts, candles, and mugs that were not solely targeted at brides but still complemented our offering.

Jade Alexandra

We initially began with a few pieces of clothing and our J/A candles. Today we sell our J/A jewellery range which makes the perfect gift, hen party décor pieces, bridal earrings, and use the space to promote our sample sale.

What have the benefits to your business been through the addition of e-commerce?

Dotty Bridal

Selling online has definitely boosted profits in our business and we have really benefitted from being able to deliver our products all over the UK, and in some cases further afield. Due to the restrictions in store our brides weren’t able to shop the boutique as freely as they would normally be able to. Therefore, our accessory and merchandise sales were a lot lower than in previous months. Allowing brides to browse our products online has helped increase revenue. We also find that brides will come into store for accessory appointments or during their bridal appointment and they will see items that they love but want to have a think about it before purchasing. They now on many occasions do this and then go onto our website and order online.

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

The addition of e-commerce has created an additional revenue stream for the business, enabling us to tap into a market outside of brides coming to the boutique. Our clothing range has in turn helped generate traffic to our website and has had a domino effect on boosting awareness of the boutique. It has also allowed us to maximise the shopping elements on social media (Facebook and Instagram), to drive brand awareness and develop our content creation.

Jade Alexandra

The main benefit is reaching beautiful brides and their tribes across the world – it’s such an amazing feeling posting out items to addresses outside Northern Ireland. Currently 80% of our monthly online sales are from mainland UK. Another reoccurring trend I have seen is the opportunity to begin the J/A journey a little sooner with our brides. When booking in their Styling Session appointment online, we see them purchasing whilst on the site. It’s even more magical when they arrive for their appointment wearing our items!


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Are you offering more than just a wedding dress?Are you offering more than just a wedding dress?

Where should boutique owners start if they want to add e-commerce to their site?

Dotty Bridal

Invest in a good product photographer. You need to photograph all your products either on location or in your boutique. If you have the designer’s images great, but if not you need to get as many good images as possible of each product!

Speak to your web designer to see if they can easily upgrade your website to an e-commerce site. We already had this feature when we first had the site made so this was an easy switch and I believe on most platforms it is easy to do. If you are not able to do this on your current website and don’t know where to start, have a look at Shopify as this is a simple e-commerce platform that doesn’t require web wizards to set up and maintain.

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

If you have a website developer, check with them about adding that functionality and the ability to manage it yourself. You will need to set up a payment facility and also have procedures in place at your boutique to process orders and shipments smoothly. Think about all the additional details too to enhance your brand presence such as packaging, labels, personal notes. For example, are you going to use recyclable packaging? Online selling laws are different to instore, so make sure you are fully aware of those too and manage customer expectations when it comes to selling sample gowns.

Jade Alexandra

The thought is a lot more overwhelming than the set-up process and management. Most website providers have an e-commerce system built in, which makes it super easy to set up. I always like to be different and offer a unique product, which I feel has been influential in making our e-commerce a success. So, take time sourcing your products, and gauge the forever growing and changing bridal market.

What advice would you give boutique owners when it comes to branding/designing products?

Dotty Bridal

If you’re looking to design your own range of products to sell online, then do your research. Ask your brides what products they would like to see. What do they feel you are missing? What would they like to buy from you as a bridal expert? Always design your products with your bride at the forefront. Keep your products unique, don’t copy the rest of the industry, be innovative and look to source items that differ from what others have on offer.

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

Be clear on what message you want to portray and make sure your products convey this. If you want a luxury high-end feel then your products need to feel and look luxurious both in person and through your imagery, they must have a strong USP and consider current trends around their environmental impact. This will help your products stand out and create resonance with your customers.

Jade Alexandra

Be original, stand out from the crowd and never compare!

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