A loyalty boom for David’s Bridal using mobile wallet technology
How a bridal and formal wear retailer with over 300 stores added 600,000 loyalty members in six months.
David’s Bridal, a US-based retailer that specializes in wedding dresses and formal wear for proms and other events, had a problem. Their legacy printed coupon system was complicated for their both customers and store associates. But updating the system was no small task.
The company started in 1950 as a single bridal salon in Florida and has grown to an international brand. They have over 300 stores located throughout the US, Canada, and the UK, plus additional franchises in Mexico. Fully one third of US brides purchase their dress from David’s Bridal.
The sheer scale of moving from a legacy print-based coupon system to a 21st century digital loyalty program required a platform with robust capabilities that could easily align with David’s Bridal’s digital transformation goals.
Kelly N. Cook, EVP, Chief Marketing, & IT Officer at David’s Bridal explained that part of their digital transformation strategy included evaluating the existing operations and systems they had in place.
“We identified opportunities for modern solutions that would aid in our initiative to create a seamless omni-experience for our customers,” said Cook. “One component of that was our legacy printed coupon system. This system, being cumbersome and dated, also prohibited us from associating bridesmaids, moms, and wedding attendees to the bride for a holistic view of our bride’s event shopping.”
A modern solution
David’s Bridal was looking for a modern, eco-friendly, and digital couponing solution to enhance shareability and connectivity across brides and party-goers.
They went with Popwallet, a mobile wallet marketing platform that provides a range of customer experience management tools integrated through Apple Wallet and Google Pay.
The selection and purchase process for the platform was a cross-functional project led by David’s Bridal’s IT and marketing teams who worked to illustrate how Popwallet’s capabilities addressed (and solved) many of the issues they had with their legacy system.
Said Cook, “We highlighted Popwallet’s ability to tie customers together for comprehensive wedding shopping experiences. The biggest up-front concern was the customer’s adoption of a digital solution versus the traditional paper coupons. But after a short pilot with select offers, we were able to prove acceptance and roll out on a larger scale.”
Rolling out mobile wallet capabilities
David’s Bridal implemented a strong process for all new in-store Popwallet activations which focused on fully training team members before launch.
Cook’s team supported the launch with extensive communication, process training modules, and documentation which was distributed to store teams, corporate employees, corporate partners, and customers. Cross-functional and cross-channel alignment was key to the success of the program.
“Our program is unique in that not all loyalty perks are our own coupons, but extend to our corporate partners,” explained Cook. “Popwallet partnered with our developers for a custom experience marrying David’s Bridal offers with third party offers for a seamless customer experience.”
David’s Bridal customers can download coupons, schedule consultations, and earn free gifts. Another part of the loyalty program is structured around an enhanced customer service experience through their exclusive Diamond Desk program. Popwallet customized a UI for David’s Bridal associates to help them more effectively assist customers.
600K in six months
The adoption of Popwallet with customers has been a huge success. The program added over half a million members in the first six months. Since launching Popwallet, David’s Bridal notes the following big wins from the program:
- A high adoption rate from customers;
- They’re on track to meet their forecasted sign-up target;
- The average ticket is +41% higher for Diamond members vs. non-members;
- The return rate for Diamond members is lower by -1540 bps; and
- The latter two metrics are driving a very positive outcome to their top line.
Said Cook, “Not only is the customer loving the experience, but business users have access to customer behavior data that we’ve never had before. Diamond members are more active than non-Diamond members and over 30 customers have qualified for a free honeymoon!”
A good loyalty program can build community, increase customer engagement and improve overall customer experience — and customers have come to expect this from retailers. In a 2020 study by financial tech giant FIS global, 56% of consumers surveyed felt that it was the retailer’s responsibility to track their spending so they could offer rewards. But making this process as easy for the customer as possible is important. Nearly 40% of respondents in the FIS study felt that earning rewards from a loyalty program was more hassle than the rewards were worth. That number was closer to 50% for millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Informing future strategy
By testing different Loyalty perks such as coupons, early access to events like fashion shows, exclusive offers, and free goodies, David’s Bridal is learning what their customers gravitate towards and what drives purchase behavior. Going forward, they plan to continue to offer new perks and surprises for Diamond members.
“We’ve learned a lot since the beginning of this program, but one thing that stands out is the customer’s love of exclusive offers and pricing,” said Cook.
“In the future, we plan to expand upon the uniqueness of Diamond Loyalty offers for members. Another focus for us going forward is around shareability and narrowing in on the collaboration between our brides and their parties/guests. To support this, we are expanding the ways all of our customers can earn points and coupling personal purchases with event purchases, so everyone has the opportunity to earn rewards.”
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