Keeping secrets about how you will make your wedding magical is a bride’s greatest dream. But spreading the word about Bridal Secrets is essential to the success of one of Australia’s most romantic bridal wear destinations.
In preparing for their big day, brides wishing to try the latest creations from leading designers such as Pronovias, Mori Lee, Maggie Sottero or Marilyn Couture usually need to visit many different locations. Bridal Secrets owners Shirley and Liza have a very popular store that features multiple brands under one roof, which was originally located in a retail setting where the average bride spends several thousand on her wedding gown.
To achieve their ultimate vision for the business, Shirley and Liza decided to renovate one of Parramatta’s iconic stone churches, and rehouse their boutique in a stylish location which really matches the heart and soul of the business.
The decision to relocate a business is always a challenge, a fact which is reflected in the rights of businesses to carry long term leases. The reality is that many businesses do not survive the transition to a new location.
It’s hard to think of a more romantic setting for bridal wear deliberations and fittings than right inside an old church, one of the grand old dames of colonial Sydney. Yet the decision to relocate came with the downside that Bridal Secrets lost its passing trade.
Whilst the inspiring location is the perfect backdrop for planning every girl’s dream, Shirley and Liza quickly identified a new business challenge. “We knew we needed to rely on our website to bring girls to our store,” Shirely says.
Bridal Dreams had already a good working relationship with Shannon Hadley at RealClicks. Now the girls needed Shannon more than ever. “When you’re running your business, you can dabble in web marketing, but you really need to focus on your core business, and it’s a big relief to have someone on your team that you can trust,” Shirley says. “It’s a big commitment, and you are committing revenue that otherwise may have been spent on wedding magazines.”
To test the waters, the team set a low budget and a short test period to review the effectiveness of the initial promotion. “The results were obvious straight away,” Shirley explains. “In fact Shannon’s results were so good we decided to double the campaign right away”.
Bridal Secrets and RealClicks worked closely together on their campaigns until the maximum yield was achieved. “We kept doubling the campaign, and the results were so good that the next month we doubled it again.”
This pattern kept repeating until the campaign maxed out. “We used the stats provided by RealClicks and compared these closely to our own statistics on in-store visits. Each customer is surveyed so we can record whether they heard about us through friends, magazines, or clicking online ads.”
When the campaign reached maximum impact, the website traffic continued to grow, but the in-store traffic did not. The campaign was then reset to the previous month’s levels and continues at that pace.
“It’s important to understand what you want to achieve and how that is going,” Shirley says. “Once we realized we had hit out target, we were easily able to work out where to pitch our ongoing campaigns.
Shirley and Liza review the campaigns directly with Shannon and Megs at RealClicks and are very happy with the results. “We get a lot of reports that are very helpful to us, and the team at RealClicks really stay on the campaign. If they need to tweak anything they always send us an email to explain what they’ve done and how that has shaped what we are doing.”
With the steady influx of online referrals that consistently convert to sales, Bridal Secrets has retained its strong customer loyalty and enjoyed a great transition to their destination boutique wedding store location, an outcome certainly to offer a smile to many a happy bride.