The bridal dress business traditionally runs on in-person appointments, but as the pandemic unfolds, the industry is going virtual. With many stores closed and foot traffic dwindling, brands are pivoting online where they can enhance digital benefits and elevate customer service offerings, according to a Gartner report. David’s Bridal, the largest bridal-store chain in the U.S., has introduced virtual stylist and virtual appointments to assist brides until brick-and-mortar stores reopen. More than 300 stylists will hold remote consultations where they can advise on dress availability, measurement guides, and book future in-store appointments. Though the virtual appointments were developed in response to COVID-19, David’s Bridal plans to continue offering digital assistance after the crisis wanes.
David’s Bridal shoppers can text a special number to book their virtual styling session, which can then be held over text, phone call, or video chat. Taking dress shopping digital is the latest move by the brand to integrate technology into its everyday business. In late 2019 David’s Bridal revamped its online dress-buying policy and unveiled digital questionnaires to give brides a more personalized shopping experience. Earlier this year the company introduced a chatbot concierge to automate customer service requests and more quickly put brides in touch with a stylist. Virtual updates could help David’s Bridal weather the rapidly changing retail market.
Though daily life has halted during the COVID-19 crisis, wedding planning carries on. David’s Bridal’s virtual offerings could not only accommodate dress shoppers, but also keep “business as usual” in the face of unusual circumstances.