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The Knot unties mobile concierge booking service for engaged couples

Wedding resource destination The Knot is tapping into the lucrative mobile booking sector by unveiling a concierge service that allows engaged couples to receive personalized vendor recommendations, pricing help and tour scheduling via live chat, SMS and email.

The brand is introducing the high-touch service in a bid to connect with additional mobile users and simultaneously drive awareness of its wedding insurance offerings. Millennial brides with little event-planning experience will likely appreciate having the ability to receive round-the-clock expert advice via their smartphones, particularly when it comes to choosing important details, such as booking the right venue.

“We know millennials are mobile and the most common form of communication they use is SMS,” said Steve Dziedzic, director of product and marketplace at The Knot. “We found very early on how important it was to build a product that allowed us to communicate through SMS with our brides.

“We did tons of user testing with brides while the product was in beta and found SMS was the most powerful and effective form of communication,” he said. “Everyone is always on-the-go and with SMS being native to all mobile phones, it was the easiest way to connect with them to send a tour reminder, ask them how the tour went, and tell them about our wedding insurance offering.”

Serving up mobile tools
With so many consumers being limited on time these days, wedding brands have been forced to digitize many of their services and features to better cater to mobile and tablet users.

Consumers frequently use their personal devices to browse possible wedding destinations and look up potential bridal gowns, giving marketers ample opportunities to implement strong calls-to-action that will help cinch a sale.

The Knot is leveraging the influx of mobile usage among engaged couples by introducing The Knot Concierge, a mobile and desktop platform that doubles as a high-touch service with which consumers can find and book wedding vendors and venues.

The concierge service was previously in beta, a time during which it booked one thousand couples’ venues. Now, the platform is available in more than 30 United States markets.

Individuals may visit on their smartphones to test out the service. It will automatically list a variety of top-rated wedding venues in users’ locations.

As they browse the site, consumers may see a small bubble appear, displaying an image of one of The Knot’s wedding professionals. If visitors are interested in receiving help with their decision-making or booking processes, they can tap on the bubble to expand the live chat box and greet their assigned expert.

Concierge interaction via SMS or email is also available, based on couples’ preferences.

The concierge will help consumers stay on track with their budgets while suggesting ideal vendors for their big day. Engaged couples who had not heard of The Knot previously may now be inspired to use this service instead of hiring a third-party event planner.

The Knot Concierge will likely help fuel more sales of wedding venues, dresses and vendor services made via its site. The brand also offers complimentary wedding insurance up to $27,000 for consumers who book their venues through the concierge service.

Wedding resources on mobile
The Knot Concierge’s availability for mobile users was a strategic move for the company, especially since its target customers reside in the digitally-savvy millennial demographic.

“The majority of our traffic is mobile so we’re already connecting with on-the-go consumers, but The Knot Concierge makes it even easier for brides to connect with us on some of their most important decisions,” Mr. Dziedzic said.

“We know that 87 percent of brides have never helped plan a wedding before, not even for someone else, so that personal guide and attention becomes even more important to the bride that’s on-the-go and doesn’t have time to search through hundreds of search results for her perfect vendors.”

Last spring, The Knot relaunched its service with a mobile-first perspective, in recognition of the fact that smartphones and tablets now account for more than 50 percent of the brand’s traffic (see story).

A plethora of other wedding-focused brands have also been leveraging mobile and social media to promote their brands and available resources.

Online marketplace WeddingWire recently reaped the benefits of a social sweepstakes that received more than 15,000 entries in six weeks, highlighting the significant potential for special occasion marketers to connect with customers on mobile (see story).

Although The Knot Concierge is currently only available on the company’s mobile and desktop sites, its app users can expect to take advantage of the feature soon.

“The Knot Concierge will be available in the near future in The Knot Wedding Planner app,” Mr. Dziedzic said.