I’m getting married… for the second time. Non-the-less, I am extremely excited.
This time around, instead of the traditional big wedding, my American fiancé, his two boys and I are going to get married in the Canadian outdoors, specifically in the French River at The Lodge at Pine Cove.
Now here is my dilemma – I live in North Carolina, but I want to wear a dress by a Canadian designer that will be both breathtaking and reflective of the setting in which we are getting married. To help you visualize, we are saying our vows on a rock overlooking the water. This means, that I have to do most of my shopping online.
This past week, I began to “window shop” via social media, but quickly got frustrated. I found myself surfing from one social media site to the next, trying to find good visuals of the designers’ gowns. Once I finally found a dress I liked, the name of the gown wasn’t listed or there wasn’t a link to where I could buy the dress. There was no consistency on social media amongst the designers – some used images and video to their advantage, while others missed the opportunity.
To address this issue, here are some ways designers can better leverage visuals on social media:
Pin it, Tweet it, Post it: 5 of the 10 designers I checked out online were set up to allow me to Pin, Tweet or Post an image I liked on their website. This is an easy win for a designer. Allow visitors to your website to become advocates on your behalf by sharing your images with their networks. Also, for those in the “buying” phase, being able to social bookmark an image or share with friends for feedback is a key part of the purchasing process.
Real brides: Designers such as Ines Di Santo and Anais Anette do an excellent job posting images of both models and real brides wearing their gowns. I love this because it allows you to see the dress on various body types and in different settings. Valencienne Bridal has a board on Pinterest dedicated to real brides.
Video: Video is key when shopping online. Powerhouse online retails, such as Bergdorf Goodman, show short clips of models wearing the items so you can see a 360 degree view of the piece and see how it looks when in motion. Only 1 of the 10 Canadian designers had a YouTube account – Rivini. That being said, designers don’t need to have a YouTube account to leverage video. For example, designers could post short clips of their runway shows to Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram.
Context: When I was shopping on the designers’ Instagram and Pinterest accounts and found a dress I liked, it was extremely difficult for me to get more information on the gown. I would suggest that designers include a link back to their website where one could find more information or contact the designer. I would also suggest listing the name of the gown when posting an image. Simply posting an image doesn’t leverage the visual to its full “sales” potential.