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Can the offline wedding industry survive in the online Digital Age?

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Can the offline wedding industry survive in the online Digital Age?

In recent years, our lives have become increasingly digitalised — we read the morning paper through a news app, check our bank accounts online and purchase most things through the click of a button. However, the wedding industry has remained quite a 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 with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?

Many of us avoid going to the physical shops completely and go online instead — for clothes, food and electricals. In the last twelve months, approximately 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one product online — with online sales increasing 21.3% in the year 2016, and forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017. The question remains, what does this mean for wedding suppliers? Here, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique seven stone rings and bespoke wedding rings, discusses whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive.

Digital inspiration

As more and more companies jump on the digital bandwagon, is it going to be a failed move if wedding retailers don’t do the same?

Digitally influenced consumer behaviour has already had an effect on 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.

Instead of picking up brochures and magazines, many couples are using the internet to plan their big day. According to The Huffington Post, around 6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile devices: 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 new digital age is beneficial for wedding suppliers, too. The social media 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.

27% of modern couples admitted that they would have a hashtag for their special day, too.

Finding success offline

It appears that the wedding industry could be an exception to the need for going digital to survive. 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 heads in the game, there might always be a place for them offline within the industry.

As many newlyweds know, planning a wedding would be difficult without the physical processes. It becomes clear how much they need to see and experience in person. In fact, it is highly likely that the industry would struggle if they became too digitally oriented. 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.

There is no escaping the fact that the industry will eventually embrace digital platforms — and that 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.

 

Sources

https://www.confetti.co.uk/news/wedding-report-2015

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-douglas/part-1-the-past-present-f_b_9294420.html

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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