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Boutique Hub / The Hard Sell

Here we welcome a commentary on the bride's buying journey and how if a boutique gets it wrong, it can all go horribly wrong.

Words by Swipe To Dress Founder Raffael Schulz.

"A bride recently told me, she hates her wedding dress. YIKES! That should never happen. The bridal store ruined this dress for her.

In recent weeks we did a bunch of interviews with brides about their wedding dress shopping experience. Our goal is to get a better understanding of the bride's decision process when buying a wedding dress.

The biggest complaint we got from brides? The stores pushed them to buy a dress they did not feel completely comfortable with. Some said they wanted to talk to their mother first or sleep on it to make sure this is the right decision.

Standard 'sales techniques' to pressure the brides to buy the dress are:

- "If you don't buy today, you won't get the dress in time for the wedding!"

- "You have been trying on dresses for two hours; it would be unfair not to buy something!"

- "We only have this dress once. If you don't buy it today, it will probably be sold by next week!"

- Not allowed to take any photos to prevent brides from comparing prices.

Why is this happening? From talking with the bridal boutique owners, I often heard the fear that the bride will not buy once she leaves the store. And losing the sale hurts. Yes, I get that.

The mistake these boutiques make is thinking that since it is a one-off transaction, it doesn't matter if the bride is unhappy. BUT, they are telling their friends, not to come to you. They are leaving a review on wedding portals and your Google Business profile. They are actively stopping other customers from coming in.

Is this sale worth it to ruin your reputation? And is it worth it to ruin one of the most significant purchases a woman makes in her life? Hearing a bride say that she hates her dress because she feels it is not really the dress she wanted…? That makes me angry.

Instead of pressuring the bride, help her to love her dress. Reassure her, that this is a great choice. Tell her, why this dress will be a dress she will be happy to wear.

And if you really don't have the perfect dress for her, send her somewhere, where she can buy the perfect dress. She will thank you and if your competitor is smart, they will send you brides if they have a similar situation as well.

Raffael Schulz is the founder of the soon-to-be-released SwipeToDress mobile app. The app helps brides to find their perfect wedding dress and gives brands quick insights into wedding dress trends. Raffael has been in the wedding industry for 15 years as the founder of Hochzeitsportal24, Germany's leading wedding information portal.

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