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Tim McKee, president, BridalLive.
Tim McKee, president, BridalLive.

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BridalLive Tipping option resonating with brides, stylists

BridalLive's feature enabling brides to tip their stylist was positively received by store owners when released last year, and is now more deeply resonating with brides who are increasingly grateful for the option to recognize and reward the extra effort and service they receive during these days of uncertainty. 

BridalLive is the cloud-based software focusing exclusively on the day-to-day operation of bridal and formal retail.

VOWS reached out to BridalLive President Tim McKee to get his perspective on this feature, its background and growing acceptance.

 

VOWS: How did this tipping feature and option develop?

 McKee: We have a feature in BridalLive called Receptive where shops can submit feature requests and vote on features other shops have requested.  This helps us to determine what our customers need in their system and what we should have on our development roadmap.

The tipping feature requests started coming in suddenly last Fall, and we were able to develop and release it quite quickly. It has worked superbly well for the stores with it enabled.

 

VOWS: Have you received any push back on this program? What are the objections?

 McKee: Since it’s completely optional, we’ve had no pushback or objections at all. It’s been really exciting to see how tips are energizing teams and motivating the sales staff to do a great job.  A few shops have even referred to the tipping feature as “life-changing” for their staff- some are making several hundreds of dollars a month more than they were before, without impacting the shop's payroll. 

 It also helps to drive sales, which of course is awesome for the business and everyone involved.

 

VOWS: Have you specific stats that speak to the success of this option?

McKee: The stats for tipping are pretty cool.  So far, for just this past year, there have been just shy of $900K in tips with the average tip being around $40. 

There have been a quite a few significant tips ($500+) as well, which is so cool to see!

 

VOWS: What options does it offer?

 McKee: Shops can choose to have four preset dollar amounts, or four percentages of the transaction's grand total, with the option of allowing the customer to choose "other" to then punch in their desired tip amount outside of the options offered by default. It's also nice that associates can choose to not prompt the customer with the option to leave a tip if for some reason it feels out of place.

The store’s credit card terminal will simply have those values for the customers to
choose from upon being prompted for a payment, and then it adds that information to their printed/electronic invoice and sales agreement.

 

VOWS: It looks like the store can set its own dollar amount…

McKee: The dollar values and percentage settings are all customizable and up to the shop to decide. The default for dollar values are $10, $25, $50 and $100.

 

VOWS: How are you suggesting stores handle the tip disbursement?

McKee: Each transaction has an associate assigned to it, and there are reports in BridalLive that show the amounts of tips per person within a date range.

 

VOWS: Does it seem brides are more comfortable leaving a tip than writing a Google/Yelp review?

McKee: I would say they are likely to do both.  I think that especially with COVID, people are happy to give service providers tips.  If they are tipping restaurant wait staff, hair stylists, nail salons, etc., it seems natural for them to offer the same to a bridal consultant who made their dreams come true and spent a significant amount of time with them doing so.

 

VOWS: Congratulations on the success of this feature. Well done.

McKee: Thank you very much and I appreciate your questions.  I hope you and the VOWS family are staying safe and healthy during these wild times.  Looking forward to a more normal 2021 and getting to see VOWS at the markets again soon!

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