by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
Even though Atlantic City weddings are increasingly popular among local couples and those planning destination weddings, the wedding vendor business is relatively competitive. If you're a South Jersey wedding vendor, what do you do to make your business stand out?
Night and Weekend Availability
Unless the happy couple is using the services of a wedding planner, they'll be doing a great deal of the wedding planning themselves. In the age of the Internet, many couples (especially the twenty-somethings) are accustomed to instant gratification when it comes to purchasing products and services. If you have night and weekend availability, you're opening yourself up to more business and providing a big relief for brides who only have so much time off to take from work. This is especially true for bridal shops.
Convenience for Out-of-Town Guests and Attendants
Since Atlantic City has become known as an affordable wedding destination and a promising alternative to Vegas, the amount of out-of-town couples and guests attending weddings in South Jersey is on the rise. If you as a vendor cannot make your accommodations or products convenient and affordable to guests, you may lose business. The bride and groom want out-of-towners to be as comfortable as possible--ensure them that this will happen and you'll increase your chances of earning their business.
We live in a world of click-and-ship. While wedding planning needs to be a more personal process, wedding planners (both professional and amateur) appreciate convenience. This means that you should have a Web site detailing product information and cost as well as an answering machine and e-mail address that you check frequently--even on nights and weekends if possible. Web sites like Etsy allow sellers to promote and sell customizable wedding items by allowing the customer to purchase and provide instructions or customization information (by filling in the quantity and the names of the bride and groom, for example). Web-savvy brides want to complete a transaction quickly and with confidence. If your storefront isn't at least partially online, how can you compete with other sites offering personalization?
The appeal of Atlantic City is in part the location. If you aren't using the latest general and hyperlocal trends to your advantage, you're losing out to the competition. Couples hosting their weddings in Atlantic City have chosen the location for a reason--they might want to incorporate casino glitz or beach front hospitality into their ceremonies and receptions. If you can deliver on that, include it in your promotional materials. What's the point of owning a business in such a beautiful location if you fail to take advantage of its real appeal?
These customer-focused tips are often greatly appreciated by those planning weddings. Brides and professional wedding planners are extremely busy and circumstances force them to become detail-oriented. If you can suggest comprehensive solutions and pledge availability, your attention can earn you business--and word-of-mouth recognition and recommendation.
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