Topic Series

Be ‘Non-line’ – Brideside Co-Founder on B2C Customer Acquisition (Part I)

BY :  Techweek Inc.   |   January 12, 2018, 5:03 pm EDT
Sonali Lamba
Co-Founder, Brideside
CONTRIBUTOR

Chicago: During Techweek Chicago Growth Summit 2017, Sonali Lamba, Co-Founder of Brideside, shared her views about B2C marketplaces. In Part 1 of this 3 part series, she talks about Brideside’s omni-channel customer acquisition and sales strategy.

“We’re going beyond omni-channel by having equal preference for both online and offline stores” – Sonali Lamba, Co-Founder, Brideside.

Brideside is a fashion retail and concierge service for bridal parties and wedding ceremonies. The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Chicago.

As a panelist at Techweek Chicago’s Growth Summit, Lamba was asked to comment on Brideside’s customer acquisition strategy across different channels.

“Getting the first acquisition – the bride – is important,” started Lamba. “If we have the bride’s trust, we have the opportunity to sell $700 worth of merchandise to each of her 5 bridesmaids, who are obliged to be part of the ceremony.”

Lamba narrated her early experiences in gaining the trust of to-be-brides. In the first 6 months of starting the business, she and her co-founder, Nicole Staple, spent their Saturdays at wedding expos collating a list of 500 brides they could call on Sundays. Brideside was an online service at that time, but the acquisition strategy was purely offline.

“It sucked and I’m still kind of scarred by wedding expos, but am grateful for it because it was the birth of our concierge service, which we now very much stand behind.”

With the feedback and reviews gathered during these early months, Lamba said Brideside committed to being omni-channel, add offline stores, and run both channels with equal preference. “Bringing the brides into the funnel online was important, but in high-consideration purchases like wedding dresses, you need people to pull the customers through the funnel and close the sale.”

She went on to explain how each channel reinforced the other. “Due to our online store, we actually know before a customer walks into our store what she’s looking for and what her preferences are. So, we know how to optimize her conversion and how to get her to purchase very very quickly.”

Similarly, the live feedback gathered by the on-ground team at the 4 stores are used to enhance the messaging and experience online. “This way we’re going beyond omni-channel by having equal preference for both online and offline stores.”

Commenting on the role of technology in her business, she said, “Along the way, you can build in processes and optimizations to help your people focus on revenue generating activities, but otherwise, technology will never really be able to supplement the kind of customer insights that come out of having a human actually talking and gathering those analytics themselves.”

In the next part of this series, Lamba talks about the key indicators Brideside uses to measure its customer acquisition performance, and how it separates the clarity metrics from the seductive vanity metrics.

To see the full video for Techweek Chicago Growth Summit 2017: B2C Customer Acquisition, go here.

If you’re interested in being featured in Techweek’s stories beyond the valley, email media@techweek.com.

Sonali Lamba is the Co-Founder of Brideside. To learn more about Brideside, visit their website