Planning the perfect wedding has always been a physical process, from purchasing the wedding dress to the groom’s suit – however all of this can now be done in the online world. With new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?
87% of British consumers admitted to buying at least one item online in the past year – online sales saw an increase in 2016 of 21.3% with aims of moving up to 30% in the year of 2017. The question remains, what does this mean for wedding suppliers? Here, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique halo engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings discuss whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive.
Should the wedding industry go digital?
With more businesses taking advantage of an online presence, whether this is through social media platforms or with their own websites to sell their products – should the wedding sector be doing the same to stay on top?
We can see that the digital world has already had an impact on how consumers view the wedding industry. With social media 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.
Through the use of mobile devices, we can see that 6 out of 10 brides are currently planning their wedding according to research that was carried out by The Huffington Post.They research different gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).
With social media websites playing a more significant role in our lives, couples are using this for inspiration – whether this is from looking at florists or different venues.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.
27% of couples that are present on social media have stated that they would create a hashtag for their wedding day.
Could the wedding industry survive offline?
Although everything seems to be moving online, there is a possibility that this particular industry can survive offline. 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.
Planning a wedding is something that couples might find difficult to do entirely on the internet, planning your wedding is an achievement in itself – from food tastings to venue searching.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.
The beneficial thing about attending wedding fairs is that they are usually held at potential wedding venues – so you’ll see how your day could actually look. Nowadays, and in the future, there is no escaping the fact that the industry will embrace digital platforms – and couples will use these platforms as a source of inspiration and to help ease the planning process. However, the industry is 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.