Businesses around the world are in a situation where they need to decide whether to make the move to become digital if they aren’t already. The online market is huge and has the potential for small businesses to target more customers than they are doing so – but is it worth it?
This is no different a wedding business – this industry has always had more of a traditional approach to consumers buying things in store rather than online. This is because most items that the consumer wants to buy must be perfect for them in that exact moment, especially when it is going to contribute to their special day. Angelic Diamonds, retailers of trilogy engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings find out how this has had an impact on small wedding companies.
The statistics on consumer behaviour
Throughout 2016, around 87% of British shoppers bought at least one item online. This could be a sign that more people are moving towards online shopping rather than putting themselves in the physical shopping experience. In this year, online sales increased by 21.3% with hopes that in 2017, this will rise to 30%.
Sometimes, small businesses fear going digital. Should wedding businesses put themselves out there digitally to remain successful – even though they operate in an industry where everything is traditionally, an offline process?
Social media has had a key influence on the wedding sector and it’s easy to see why – inspiration. With the use of personalised apps such as Pinterest and Instagram, we can see current trends with the click of a button and this is influencing wedding shoppers make major decisions that are linked with their big day.
When asked, 42% of people said that they use social media to plan their wedding. 41% of brides said that they follow their dream photographers on social media platforms to constantly be in the loop of what work they’re doing and potentially see other weddings to again, be inspired. 37% of brides are following their potential venue with only 14% following florists that they want to use.
We can see that young couples that are social media savvy use these platforms for wedding inspiration. This is because these platforms provide pages and groups that people can follow for all sorts of businesses, whether they’re a venue, florists or even caterers – so whatever they need, they are able to see it all in one place. 64% of brides use Pinterest for inspiration and this is a large majority – small businesses not taking advantage of the free social media tool are really missing out. It’s the online version of a wedding fair.
To engage their wedding guests, 27% of couples have said that they would create a specialised hashtag for people to use at their wedding – so when they’re posting on their social media platforms, everyone will be able to see everything under one phrase.
Although some businesses will at some point have to put themselves on the online world to keep up with the constantly evolution of technology, this might not apply entirely to wedding businesses – or at least not for now. This is because the wedding sector, including wedding planning, is a process where people like to see things in real life and not over a pixelated screen. In this particular industry, couples who are soon to get married want to experience it all – from suit fittings and venue scouting, to food tasting for the guests. This is something that a lot of couples participate in at wedding fairs as they want to speak to suppliers, gain advice from the professionals and know exactly what they can do for their wedding – it is a monumental day in their life.
Looking for venues is an important factor to any wedding and this is something that they need to see and feel when couples go looking. However, being digital is a good thing because it can be the first step to viewing the location. Wedding fairs are usually held at wedding venues so it’s a good opportunity to look around. There seems that there will always be a demand for the physical process of a wedding and although digital presence is important, it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on the wedding industry.