CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
BrideSave is making several back-end systems adjustments which will make it easier for shoppers to plan for their weddings. To expedite service, BrideSave is consolidating and updating more customer service programs and databases.
Rather than make wholesale changes to its e-commerce site, BrideSave.com is spending the off-season making upgrades to its technology platform.
The bulk of annual sales for BrideSave.com, No. 133 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, comes in the wedding planning months of January through May. “Right now we are getting ready for January 2,” says founder and president Rachel Ambler.
Today, between 6% and 7% of BrideSave’s total sales are from foreign customers. To make it easier for them to shop online, BrideSave is adding a new currency converter that will convert the price of the merchandise and shipping costs into foreign currency. “We get a lot of shoppers from Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and even Saudi Arabia,” Ambler says.
BrideSave, which carries more than 3,800 dresses, is also making several back-end systems adjustments which will make it easier for shoppers to plan for their weddings. For instance, now that BrideSave is consolidating and updating more customer service programs and databases, a bride will be able to follow each of her bridesmaids’ transactions, including the time dresses are ordered, the delivery date and the sizes and colors of each dress or accessory. “This new program expedites order tracking,” Ambler says.
Despite the fact that some brides-to-be or bridesmaids may have reservations about shopping for their gown, dress or accessories over the Internet, web sales at BrideSave are growing and should increase by about 41% in 2005, Ambler says. The average ticket is about $225, though the site carries wedding dresses that range in price from $155 to $3,000.
“I started this web site in 1999 as a frustrated bride looking for a dress on the Internet,” she says. “I figure that if I was doing this there must be others like me,” Ambler says.