Organising a wedding is traditionally a very physical process — 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 as our lives become more and more digitalised, will the wedding industry move more towards online platforms? Retailers of unique solitaire engagement rings , Angelic Diamonds, explores the issue.
The future of the industry
Many of us prefer online shopping these days. In the past twelve months, approximately 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one product online and online sales are set to increase by 30% by the end of 2017. As more and more businesses become digitalised, will the wedding industry have to follow suit to keep ahead of the game?
Technology has already affected the wedding industry in many ways. 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.
Social media apps have provided brides with the opportunity to plan their weddings through their mobiles and tablets. The Huffington Post reported that around 6 out of 10 brides use their mobile during the planning process: they research gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).
The apps provide an opportunity for wedding planners and vendors to show off their products, too. 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 is being used on the wedding day, too — 27% of modern couples said that they would create a hashtag for the big day to look back on.
A place offline for the wedding industry
Although it seems necessary for retailers to make the transformation to online platforms, businesses in the wedding industry could be an exception. 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.
There seems to be too much that couples must experience for this to become an online industry. 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.
Of course, those operating in the industry must understand that digital platforms can increase their exposure and revenue. 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.