David’s Bridal Gets Mobile Makeover as Traffic Surges

Expects on-the-go shopping to exceed desktop activity

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With 50 percent of consumers using banks' mobile websites, per an Interactive Advertising Bureau report yesterday, one can imagine the opportunities retailers in more product-y niches are seeing with on-the-go consumers. And that's why David's Bridal gave its mobile website a major makeover, as brides-to-be increasingly choose smartphones over desktops as research tools.

"A lot of dress shopping is happening on mobile," Kristen Celko, vp of ecommerce for the Conshohocken, Pa.-based firm, told Adweek. "By next year, it will be at least half of our digital traffic."

David's Bridal teamed with mobile vendor Usablenet to expand the shopping utilities around its set of features dubbed My Event. Now, a bride-to-be can create profiles, make wish lists, interact with bridesmaids, keep track of their David's Bridal purchases, plan the wedding party, show her current mood through an icon, upload images, log-in via Facebook and send invites to friends through the social network.

"The modern bride is both mobile and social, and wants to share her experience," said Carin van Vuuren, Usablenet CMO.

Celko added, "The platform was built for brides and not for ourselves. We are encouraged by the [mobile activity] we've seen in beta with the upgrades. We are touching a lot of brides in the market. The adoption suggests that we are reaching brides who have not been David's Bridal [offline] shoppers."

In fact, the vp said, around 25 percent of its recent mobile traffic has been consumers who haven't purchased with the brand. "We register all of our shoppers in the store," she explained. "So we have the ability to match [the mobile traffic] back."

And while wedding season is primarily a Q1 affair, David's Bridal disclosed a fun factoid about how "brides-to-be" actually shop. "Thirty percent are looking for dresses before they get engaged," Celko said.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.