An online-only retailer gets bridesmaids comfortable committing to made-to-order dresses.

Revelry founder Michelle DeLoach says that selling made-to-order bridesmaid’s apparel for $80–$175 can seem too good to be true for some brides, so the company has developed a number of measures to increase shopper trust, ranging from a strong social media presence to $10 sample boxes that contain three dresses.

The first trust-building measure is a swatch sample. With more than 75 options between color and fabric combinations, it can be hard to spot the difference between shades or textures on screen. The swatches let customers get see all the details of a fabric in real life, and view the color other important wedding elements like the wedding gown and floral arrangements.

Next, sample dresses can be ordered to double-check styles and shapes. These include three or more style-and-fabric combinations for brides and bridesmaids to inspect. DeLoach says 80% of shoppers who get a sample box end up making a purchase.

“I think people are shocked when they get the products and they think, ‘Wow, this really does look like a $300 dress you’d find in a bridal boutique,'” DeLoach says.

DeLoach says the sample boxes allow for a more relaxed environment to test dresses than a traditional bridal boutique. Brides or bridesmaids can host gatherings wherever is convenient to try on dresses, and the retailer will ship sample boxes to multiple locations so members of the bridal party, who may be spread around the country, can try on the styles before returning them and ordering their customized dresses.

advertisement

Social media and blogging also play big parts in building Revelry’s rapport with customers.

The company’s Real Weddings blog highlights why brides choose dresses and how they look in various venues. The company’s social media accounts also feature customer photos, including shots of how bridesmaids reuse dresses and separates from Revelry. DeLoach says the social aspect, especially Pinterest, is where Revelry pulls ahead of most traditional bridal boutiques.

“Pinterest is the way that people shop for weddings,” she says. “Girls are making wedding Pinterest boards when they’re 16 that they use up through their wedding day.” By being active on social media while highlighting real-world product use, not just models wearing dresses, Revelry is able to reach potential customers before they start shopping for their wedding.

DeLoach says social channels also can make it harder for designers to get ripped off. She has seen overseas companies steal photos and produce knock-off dresses of inferior quality. Staying active on social networks by interacting with customers and providing promotional deals—things knock-off creators don’t do—helps customers see that Revelry is a legitimate seller, DeLoach says.

However, getting customers to trust an online brand is only half the battle. Revelry also aims to stand out by providing made-to-order dresses and separates. That gives brides more variety to choose from, and DeLoach says it also appeals to a larger variety of customers. For example, the company is one of the few that offers garments up to size 32 and in varying lengths, ensuring that a wide range of bridesmaids can wear matching outfits.

advertisement

Being made-to-order also lets the company keep up with trends easily, since they don’t have too much stock on hand. In 2018, the company plans to double its available bridesmaid styles to 70 and launch a bridal line to bring the same made-to-order customization to bridal gowns as they offer for bridesmaids dresses.

Favorite