Thursday, December 4, 2008

Online Shopping: Great for Quick Purchases, Bad for Weddings

As our busy lives get accustomed to researching, communicating, and shopping online we lose the fundamental importance of direct customer to representative contact. Recently, we had a client in with a sob story about her online wedding purchase. Immediately, we had to provide her with last minute options to make her planning experience memorable again. Solutions Bridal to the rescue, I guess you could say. Her story triggered the significance of this blog post.

Your probably thinking, "who doesn't purchase online?" Your right, even with my six years in speciality, direct retail I still make several purchases yearly online. I've purchased books through Amazon.com, a desk off Ebay, and many fabulous shoes from Zappos.com. Before I've made every one of those purchases I've asked myself, " Will you be deeply, horribly upset if it doesn't make it your doorstep? (Hmm... no, in the end its just shoes), What is the cost-benefit? (the shoes aren't available in Ganesville and they only cost me $60 online so if they never make it I'm only out $60, but I could end up with an amazing pair of shoes). I've also had my share of horror stories. Last summer I got overcharged $249 twice by an online retailer. Also, once I ordered Victoria's Secret clothes online and they arrived at my neighbor's house. I had to walk next door and pick it up from a house of five boys. A little awkward ...

With Weddings its a a whole different ballgame I've worked for Solutions Bridal for several years and I'm still learning everyday. There is way more that goes into a bridal/bridesmaid orders than most people think. For example, it takes a bridal consultant at least two months to truly know the ins and outs of every dress. Then, the dress gets discontinued or requires a hollow to hem or is no longer available in that color ... Its aways changing. Your personal bridal consultant contains so much valuable knowledge and also knows how to make the best experience for you and your party. Bottom line, she can provide you with face-to-face customer service. If you have any concerns she is right there by your side to insure you are at ease. Imagine having a situation arise through an online retailer. Hmm... this is what I picture ... getting bounced around on the phone from supposedly supervisors or an employee pretending to be one, leaving messages and not getting a response ... merchandise not arriving and can't get a live person on the phone.

So, before you make any wedding purchases online consider asking yourself the follow two questions:

Q: Will I be deeply, horribly upset if my merchandise never arrives?
A: Yes, weddings have a time constraint attached to them. If your merchandise never arrives, it may also be too late to order from a bridal store. Also, there is a lot more money and people involved then a a pair of shoes

Q: What is the cost-benefit?
A: Might be able to find a bargain online. There are always costs that come along with bargaining. With weddings its worth$20 extra to see the swatches in person and have your bridal consultant help you every step of the way


If you have any questions regarding this post please comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

Elisa said...

I will get marry very soon. I have most of my wedding shopping online.

Top 10 Advice on finding the DRESS!

  • Number One Rule: Be open minded! What you think reminds you of your grandmother's dress on the hanger, may in fact be the dress of your dreams.
  • Bring someone that knows your style better than their own. I'm sure the groom doesn't want to see you in something that your bestfriend would wear on her wedding day
  • DON'T PURCHASE YOUR DRESS ONLINE! You miss out on the whole experience.
  • Don't worry what the groom will think. If he loves you, he will love what you pick.
  • Have fun! Remember that you have been dreaming of this day since you were five. Don't let the decision put a cloud over your head
  • If you hate the little bow on the dress, ask the consultant if you can order it without.it. Chances are you can. Keep in mind (contrary to what the magazines always say) there might be a charge for it. It won't lower the cost of the dress.
  • Price vs. Love: If you love the dress, GO FOR IT! Don't settle for less on what your wearing for your big day. You can always take some of the budget from the centerpieces and so on. No one will know and we won't tell.
  • Research designers online and make a scrap book of styles that you like. Do keep in mind, that it may all change when you start trying on.
  • Save the group shopping for the mall. This should be a personal experience that you should only share with one or two.
  • When you find it, you find it. Don't second guess yourself or you will pick your second favorite.