Using the video conferencing software Zoom, David's Bridal is introducing video into its virtual appointment service, which will allow its stylists to assist brides and bridal parties remotely, the wedding retailer announced in a Tuesday press release.
Customers can schedule appointments with the retailer's stylists to receive guidance on everything from dresses and color swatches to accessories and veil styles, per the company statement.
Though the video feature was announced on Tuesday, the company noted that it has already received hundreds of video appointment bookings "in the first few days." The wedding retailer also mentioned that it has reopened most of its brick-and-mortar locations after temporarily shutting due to COVID-19.
The Zoom integration for David's Bridal's virtual appointment service comes after the wedding retailer launched virtual stylist and virtual appointments in late April. The first iteration of the feature allowed consumers to book appointments with its stylists and text them about dresses, measurements, undergarments and other inquiries.
Prior to and during the coronavirus pandemic, the wedding retailer has introduced a series of tech tools for customers, including a concierge chatbot service called Zoey, a suite of digital wedding planning tools and a partnership with Popwallet that provides customers with mobile coupons, rebates and other perks. The company has continued to focus on tech innovation despite its financial troubles.
"Now that the majority of our stores are re-opened, we look forward to being able to offer both virtual and store appointment options as a permanent solution [going] forward, giving our customers the options to find her dream dress in the way that best suits her," CEO Jim Marcum said in a statement.
As David's Bridal unveils various services, its competitors have engaged in partnerships or debuted their own technology. Back in January, Macy's partnered with the matrimonial site Zola to let couples register with Macy's for wedding gifts. Jewelry retailer Jared also debuted virtual wedding planning tools in May.
The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for retailers that were already struggling before their physical storefronts were forced to close. The wedding sector in particular had been grappling with changing marital trends and evolving wedding registries for years. Now, while customers are just starting to return to stores, David's Bridal's introduction of tech features follows a broader pattern of retailers turning to digital tools to connect with consumers remotely.
"With the launch of virtual video, brides are able to see mom and grandma's smiling faces, review bridesmaids color options with her best gals, and share the dress of her dreams, even from hundreds of miles away," Kelly Cook, chief marketing and IT officer at David's Bridal, said in a statement.