Tools for Success:
Bridal Store Software


The Guide to Bridal Store Software and Tools

When you started your bridal store, chances are that you were not thinking about what software you needed to create and grow a thriving business. Who knew there were so many tools out there?! 

This guide to bridal store software will help you evaluate the tools you’re using, from accounting and payroll to business intelligence.

bridal store software tools

Key Takeaways From the Guide to Bridal Store Software:

  • The right mix of software, tools, and professional services is important for building a thriving bridal business.
  • BridalLive is an excellent solution for a retail management and POS (point of sale) system specifically built for bridal.
  • Do not neglect your bookkeeping and accounting—If this is not a strength you possess, consider outsourcing to an accountant who knows the bridal industry.
  • Free accounting systems and tools can hurt you in the long run. Ideally, find an accounting software that integrates with BridalLive, such as QuickBooks Plus and Advanced.
  • A full service payroll solution is a cost effective way to ensure that your payroll taxes are taken care of accurately and on time.
  • Use business intelligence software (the BridalVision platform) to simplify profitable decision making when it comes to inventory management, cash flow, and financial intelligence for profit and growth.
  • The size of your business and the length of time you've been in business often plays a role in what software is a best fit for you.

You can fill out the form to download your copy of this guide to take offline. Otherwise, continue exploring below.

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Why BridalLive is Ideal for Bridal Store Retail Management and POS

Before we jump into why BridalLive is a great choice for bridal stores looking to simplify their retail management and POS system, let’s first cover what your retail management and POS system software needs to be able to do.

Your Bridal Store’s Point of Sale (POS) System 

Basically, your point of sale (POS) system is how you get paid by your customers. This includes the software and hardware (such as credit card readers) that allow you to process payments. 

Traditionally, you would think of a cash register. In today’s environment, your point of sale system is likely more high-tech and is much more than simply a cash drawer. 

These days, your Point of Sale software may go well beyond simple POS functionality, encompassing any number of the key functions below:

  • Customer management

  • Payment processing

  • Appointment scheduling and management

  • Inventory management. For bridal shops this  includes differentiation between stock and customer order inventory

  • Ability to perform a physical inventory quickly and painlessly (with a scanner)

  • Point of Sale (POS), including off the rack, layaways, special orders, returns, etc.

  • Purchasing accounting and tracking and reporting, including purchase orders and receiving vouchers

  • Employee management

  • Online client portal

Key Considerations

There are a couple of features that many bridal boutique owners overlook, but also happen to be the most important to consider when evaluating your tools.

1. Reporting and Analytics

The reporting and analytics your POS system and software offers is extremely important. Data powers key business decisions that propel your bridal shop to the next level. 

Business Intelligence is data, organized in just the right way, to power key business decisions at just the right time, to propel your bridal shop to the next level. BridalVision is a business intelligence tool that integrates with BridalLive, making use of your bridal-specific sales and inventory data, to help you make solid business decisions. We’ll dig into this more in Chapter 4.

2. Bridal Industry Fit

There are  a confusing number of options available when it comes to POS systems. We see many shops start on generalized platforms such as Square or Shopify, only to move over to BridalLive when they realize that they need more industry-specific features. 

You want to pick software that is specifically customized for the bridal industry, versus a general platform that will not serve your specific needs. Similarly, platforms that are a better fit for a restaurant or a real estate firm are sure to deliver a mismatch since they have not been designed with your needs in mind. Select a software that you are confident has all of the features you need (and none that you don’t).

Why BridalLive

We recommend BridalLive because it is tailor-made for bridal shop owners. From the moment you purchase your first sample gown from a vendor, to the moment you make your sixteenth resale, BridalLive tracks your inventory, sales, associate conversion rates, and so much more. 

Moreover, BridalVision is able to pull BridalLive data in real time to help with inventory management and profitability decisions. BridalVision and BridalLive are an essential software duo for building and growing a profitable, thriving bridal salon.

BridalLive bridal store software

Learn More About BridalLive:

>> Take a tour of BridalLive

>> Want to try BridalLive? BridalLive always offers a 30 day trial. Get an additional 30 days free from BridalVision by using this sign up link!


Bookkeeping and Accounting for Bridal Stores with QuickBooks

Any business owner knows that accounting can be a time suck. You started your shop because you love the dresses and the brides. Not because you love accounting (wild guess).

So your books get ignored. Neglected. Abused. But, ignoring your accounting will always come back to bite you in the rear. And it will hurt! Fortunately there are a few ways to make accounting less painful.

QuickBooks and Bridal Stores

Even if you are not the one doing the bookkeeping and accounting work, you need software that will keep everything organized. A paper ledger or Excel spreadsheet is not going to cut it. That’s where QuickBooks comes in. 

QuickBooks is a Full Accounting System

Intuit has had plenty of time since it launched QuickBooks in 1998 to develop a highly robust, feature-rich accounting system. Many business owners shy away from QuickBooks because they find the software confusing or intimidating. The irony is that the sophistication of the software is what makes it so effective and keeps bridal store owners out of trouble in the long-term.

The Downfalls of DIY

It’s tempting to try to save on upfront costs by using free (or no) accounting software and doing the books DIY. That said,  bridal shop owners often end up paying more later-on to clean up their books. Sometimes the cost shows up later in the form of tax penalties. 

Accounting software can sometimes make things look deceptively easy — just click this button, right?! Yet, there is a reason accounting requires years of education, training and experience. 

The reality that it actually requires accounting expertise to connect all of the dots has resulted in pain, heartache, and mis-directed time.

QuickBooks Online (QBO) vs Desktop

As of 2020, there are many advantages to cloud accounting (ie QBO) vs Desktop.  The main benefit is the ability to more seamlessly integrate your data in realtime across multiple platforms. For example, QBO can pull transactions directly from your bank. This reduces manual data entry and frees up accounting labor hours for higher-level work, allowing you to get more bang for your accounting buck.

Many business owners needlessly cling to their QuickBooks Desktop files when they could convert to QBO within a few days. Another benefit to QBO is that it integrates with other tools, such as BridalVision, for increased transparency and data across your books and store data. Moving to QBO from Desktop is easy - just make sure you are working with an accounting firm that is well versed in Quickbooks conversions.

BridalLive released the QBO integration in 2019, and no longer supports the Desktop integration because 1) it is the way of the digital world, 2) most of Intuit’s development energy is being spent on QBO, not Desktop, and 3) cloud integrations just work way better.

If you need some help understanding how BridalLive and QuickBooks integrate, check out these help articles:

QuickBooks Will Grow With Your Shop

Yes, you can find other “free” accounting platforms. In the long-term, they are not free at all. As you grow, you will find that they lack core functionality that you desperately need. 

For example, if your accounting system does not have a balance sheet, you won’t have complete financials to apply for a loan or sell your store. This may not be on your mind now, but someday it will all of a sudden be very important. Also, BridalLive integrates with QuickBooks Plus and Advanced, making it that much easier to sync all of your data.

You don’t have to use all of the features in QuickBooks. In fact you will never use all of the functionality that QuickBooks has to offer. And, you will most likely be completely unaware of all of the features and functions that your accountant makes use of. But, you don’t want to have to change your accounting systems every time you add another $200,000 in annual revenue just to save a few dollars every month. 

Get in the right system as soon as possible. It is usually cost prohibitive to move all of your historical data over to a new accounting system, so the sooner you migrate, the better. 

If you are looking to save, starting with QuickBooks Essentials is a great option. You can even ask your accountant if they can offer you wholesale pricing at a lower cost before you sign up on QuickBooks’ website.

Can’t I Just Hire Someone for This?

Some bridal shop owners don’t want to deal with accounting and bookkeeping any more than they absolutely need to (and we can’t blame you!). 

In a lot of cases, shop owners shouldn’t be spending their time and energy on this when they could be working on other areas of the business they excel in. That’s where working with an accounting team experienced in the bridal industry can be a game changer.

If you are going to outsource your accounting and bookkeeping, below are a few questions to ask before hiring a professional:

  • Do they specialize in working with bridal stores?

  • Do their service offerings encompass advising you on the profit and growth of your business (beyond just tax compliance)?

  • Do they understand BridalLive reporting and how to match up BridalLive and QuickBooks?

  • How often will they reconcile your bank and credit card statements and when will you be notified?

  • What are their year-end procedures to close your books and prepare your books for tax filing? How do these procedures address bridal inventory, sales and customer deposits?

  • Do they reconcile your payroll reports (W3 and payroll journal) to your general ledger (financial reports in QuickBooks)?

  • Do they understand how you recognize revenue and how to make adjustments to your QuickBooks? Bridal shops are usually different — even from most retail stores.

  • Do they understand how to read BridalLive reports?… No really! This can make or break how effective they will be at interpreting your data.

Ready to clean up your numbers so that you can use data to chart a profitable path forward? Work with a BridalVision finance and accounting professional.


Payroll Software for Bridal Stores

If you’ve ever searched for payroll software, you know there are A LOT of options available. Here’s what you should look for in payroll software:

  • Stupid-easy to process by yourself

  • Does your filing for you (full service)

  • Great customer support and dedication to continual improvement

  • Access to great reporting for you and your accountant  24/7

Gusto is our number one recommendation for bridal stores. We even recommend Gusto over QuickBooks Payroll (even if you are in QuickBooks) because they do better on all four of the above points. Gusto also maps to QuickBooks, so your payroll transactions can be dialed in from the get-go. 

>> Sign up for Gusto  
Full disclosure that this is an affiliate link, which means that when you sign up and run your first paid payroll, we both get $100 Amazon gift cards. We only use affiliate links when we can wholeheartedly recommend a product or service!

You may be tempted to do your own payroll tax filing, but a full service payroll solution is a relatively small expense to pay to ensure that your payroll taxes are taken care of accurately and on time. Unless you filed payroll in your corporate job, we don’t recommend doing this on your own. 

We have cleaned up enough DIY payroll disasters to feel confident in recommending full-service over DIY!

Save yourself the time, save on deferred accounting costs, and save on potential liabilities associated with incorrect payroll filing.


Business Intelligence for Profitable Decision Making with BridalVision

It’s impossible to make smart business decisions without data. 

Instead of guessing if you’re buying the right gowns and taking action that drives growth in your business, use business intelligence software to know what steps to take for increased profit.

BridalVision pulls in all your data from BridalLive and turns it into actionable insights. The software was created to optimize your data for better business decisions and use business intelligence modules to power growth and profitability in your bridal store.

BridalVision’s business intelligence software simplifies profitable decision making for bridal shop owners in these three key areas:

Inventory Management

Your stock inventory is your single biggest investment. What you buy—and when—are important decisions. How do you make those decisions now? Do you do what designer sales reps tell you to do? Do you buy what you like, or what your brides like? How do you know?

A lot of store owners buy based on emotion versus basing decisions on the data.

What about your obsolete inventory? The longer you hold onto the dogs, the faster they lose value. With inventory data, you and your team will know exactly when to phase out sample gowns and at what price. 

The inventory management tool within BridalVision takes the guesswork out of inventory management decisions by analyzing and interpreting inventory and sales data. 

Cash Flow

BridalLive and QuickBooks Online integrations make the process of analyzing your cash flow outlook instantaneous to help you eliminate surprises and make better business decisions. Advance-planning tools provide your complete cash flow picture and allow you to view what-if scenarios to take the guesswork out of big decisions. 

Financial Intelligence and Performance Reporting for Profit and Growth 

If you want to take the next steps in your business growth process with confidence and ease, the ability to access to your KPIs and spotlight  important data is necessary. BridalVision’s financial intelligence and performance reporting tools will show you where you are now, where you were, and where you need to go for a more profitable store. 

BridalVision for business software intelligence

Get Started With BridalVision

All of your data from BridalLive (and soon QuickBooks as well!) in one place with dashboards and visualizations that make it easy to make decisions that drive your business forward.

>> Start Your Free Trial Now

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What Software and Services Your Bridal Boutique Needs Based On Growth Stage

The tools your bridal salon needs will depend on a few different factors, but this table should give you a solid idea based on the length of time you have been in business.

guide to bridal store software and services

Revamp Your Bridal Store Software

Now that you know everything that’s needed to ensure your bridal store is using software that enables your business to thrive, get started with the BridalVision platform.

Still not sure what you need and want some guidance? Book a discovery call with BridalVision.

We are excited to support the growth of your bridal business!