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Can The Wedding Industry Survive Offline?

From trying on wedding dresses to having suit fittings, planning a wedding has always been completed as a physical task. But with new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?

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, a retailer of unique trilogy engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings, discuss whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive:

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The wedding industry online

As businesses are becoming more successful with a digital presence, is this something that the wedding industry needs to be taking advantage of?

The online world has already had a big influence on planning weddings. 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.

Organising weddings are now being done through the use of mobile devices too, as The Huffington Post found that 6 out of 10 brides are currently planning their big day using such technology. It seems that they are researching gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).

Naturally, as most modern couples are active on social media platforms, they are using this as a tool to get inspiration for their own weddings – they are using this to find wedding planners and even florists, for example. 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 contemporary couples have also said that they would create a hashtag for their wedding to make it more socially relevant.

The wedding industry offline

Although unlike other industries, there is a possibility that the wedding industry will be able to 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.

When dreaming up the perfect wedding, you want to be able to experience everything in person so you know exactly what you’re getting, whether this is food tasting or location spotting! 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.

Attending wedding fairs is another way to be inspired and could bring your imagination to life, especially as they are usually held in a wedding setting. 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.

 

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

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