Increasingly, it’s important for all industries to understand the impact of digital and how it can affect businesses. To put online shopping into perspective, one report recently revealed that around 87% of UK customers have purchased at least one product digitally in the last twelve months. From the year 2016, digital sales have increased by 21.3% and are forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017.
However, the wedding industry has maintained a strong offline presence — with brides needing to try on their wedding gowns before they buy, grooms having several suit fittings, and of course, who would want to miss out on the opportunity to have a tasting session at your venue for your wedding breakfast? But with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world? Retailer of tension set engagement rings, Angelic Diamonds, investigates further.
Will the wedding industry conform to the digital world?
As more and more companies take the plunge into the digital world, the pressure is on the wedding industry to decide if it should follow suit.
Digitalisation of shopping has already had an impact on the industry. With apps such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, brides and grooms can find so much inspiration for their big day with just a few clicks. Modern couples are now using new technology when wedding planning. In fact, 42% of people use social media to plan their wedding — with 41% of brides following photographers on social media, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists.
Couples are searching for products online that would usually be done physically. The Huffington Post reported that 61% of brides search for gowns through their mobile (up from 27% in 2011) and 57% search for wedding vendors in the same way (this figure was 22% in 2011).
Social media is part of the big day too – 27% of modern couples suggested that they would create a hashtag for their special day. This allows them to look back on the day from the point of view of their guests.
Companies from the wedding industry are beginning to understand the advantages of going digital. The apps provide a platform for wedding planners, venues, florists, and other wedding suppliers to showcase what they have to offer. Instagram and Pinterest, which is used by 64% of brides, have now become a couple’s go-to platform for all their inspiration, a digital alternative to a wedding fair. Suppliers who have not yet invested time into creating a social media profile for their business could be missing out on free exposure.
Gaining exposure online
The future still looks promising for wedding vendors as the industry continues to thrive. Whilst it is likely that companies will need to go digital at some stage to stay up to date with the latest technologies, and keep their head in the game, there might always be a place for them offline within the industry.
Although some industries are able to be successful through an online presence only, taking advantage of the low overheads, it is unlikely that the wedding industry could ever do the same. Wedding fairs have been around for centuries, and there is a reason for that; whilst modern couples use social media for visual inspiration, wedding fairs are still a great way for suppliers to engage face-to-face with potential customers. For most people, their wedding day is the biggest day of their lives so it’s important that they can speak face-to-face with suppliers, and physically see what they have to offer.
It’s hard to fully escape the digital world. However, it appears that it is during the inspiration stages of the wedding planning process that the internet is most useful. The industry is definitely not yet ready to wipe out all traditional methods of wedding planning. There’s no question that there is still a demand for the physical processes. Maybe, it’s just time for suppliers and other industry professionals to use digital as a means to extend their business and gain more exposure.