Is the wedding industry coping in the digital age?
As an industry heavily focussed on the selling of experience and quality, the wedding industry’s performance in the new digital age is interesting. 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?
Shopping online, from the comfort of our homes, has become increasingly popular in recent years. A report revealed that around 87% of UK customers have purchased at least one product online. From the year 2016, digital sales have increased by 21.3% and are forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017. But does this mean that wedding vendors will have to make the transformation online, too? Retailers of diamond shoulder engagement rings, Angelic Diamonds, investigates further.
Changing the search process
The industry has already seen the effect of the digital age in some ways. 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.
The internet is also changing the search process of couples, as they search for inspiration for their big day. According to The Huffington Post, 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).
Companies in the wedding industry are finding ways to benefit from the digital age, too. 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.
Social media can be used to allow couples to look back on their day from the point of view of their guests, too. 27% of modern couples said they would do this by creating a hashtag for their special day.
Gaining new exposure
It does not look like the wedding industry is set to decline any time soon. 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.
Some industries, such as clothing, are able to operate successfully through a solely online presence. However it is very unlikely that the wedding industry would thrive in this way. 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 is suggested that the wedding industry embraces the digital world in a different way to other industries. It appears that it is during the inspiration stages of the wedding planning process that the internet is most useful. 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.