With technology constantly evolving, we’re seeing more and more activity on the online world and this is having an impact on the wedding planning process too – a process that is usually planned physically. But with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?
Over the last year, 87% of consumers in Britain said that they had bought something online – this shows a 21.3% increase – and it is said that this will reach a high of 30% by the end of 2017. The question remains, what does this mean for wedding suppliers? Here, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique tension set engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings discuss whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive.
Is the future digital?
As having an online presence gives businesses an endless amount of opportunities, is going digital vital for the wedding sector?
The wedding sector has already been impacted in a digital sense. 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.
6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device as reported by The Huffington Post. They have already been researching gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).
Planning a wedding is a big job, you need to look for venues, caterers, florists, designers and much more and the modern couple is using social media for the inspiration. 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.
To stay in the social media bubble, it was said that 27% of modern couples would promote a hashtag for their wedding day so everyone can get involved and make memories across different social media platforms.
Some businesses have no choice other than to expand digitally, but is there as much pressure for the wedding industry? 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.
Traditionally, planning a wedding has been more of a physical process – from booking the most romantic venue to finding the perfect cake design. 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.
Heading to a wedding fair can bring your expectations to life, you’ll be able to see how everything would come together on your big day – a benefit to going to one of these events would be that they are held in a wedding venue, giving you even more of that much-needed inspiration. Now-a-days, 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.