Our lives are slowly becoming more digitalised as technology is constantly evolving. However, wedding organisation has remained to be more of a physical process – with brides needing to try on their wedding gowns before they purchase, grooms having several suit fittings and, of course, the tasting session for the wedding breakfast. But with new technology and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world?

Over the past year, around 87% of UK consumers have purchased at least one product online. With online sales increasing by 21.3% in the year 2016, and their forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017 – can the wedding industry survive offline? Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique solitaire engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings discuss whether it’s time for the industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive.

How digital is our future?

With many retailers operating digitally now, does the wedding industry have to follow suit to stay successful?

Technology and digitalisation has already had a huge impact 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.

In a report released by The Huffington Post, it was revealed that around 6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device: they research gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).

Modern couples are using social media for inspiration for their wedding day 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.

Social media is not just used in the planning of the wedding either – when asked, over a quarter of today’s modern couples (27%) said they would create a hashtag for their special day.

What does the future hold?

Fortunately for businesses in the wedding industry, their future offline appears to be promising. 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.

In the organisation of a wedding, it is always going to be important to see and experience wedding essentials before you buy them. 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.

Wedding fairs provide the perfect opportunity for brides to start to see what their big day might look like. 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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