Technological advancements are taking a toll on small businesses within the wedding industry. According to The East Valley Tribune, changes in technology are having a significant impact on wedding vendors and their client relationships.
“There’s constant communication and yet my phone never rings,” said Taryn Pollock, owner of Serendipity Cinematography and Simply Cinema.
Pollock says she often doesn’t speak with a wedding couple until the day of their ceremony. Christiana Hammond and Andrea Micetic, the owners of The Elegant Barn, have similar experiences and mostly communicate with their clients via text or email.
“People find a lot of security in hiding behind a computer screen,” said Pollock.
However, the convenience of text, email, and social media isn’t always favorable to many small business vendors. Pollock says many clients can be vicious on social media and in their online reviews. Yet, the clients will admit over the phone that the problems they experienced weren’t as bad as they’d said in the review.
It’s for this reason that online reviews can be a double-edged sword for business owners. Online reviews give clients a significant amount of power within the industry because businesses are unable to remove them.
Social media presence is also a point of stress for businesses. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook act as strong marketing platforms for many vendors. The different businesses within the industry that handle decorations, invitations, videography, etc., all utilize social media to do most of their advertising.
“I am able to use social media to showcase my work because my product is video,” said Pollock. “You can’t demonstrate that in a magazine ad.”
Social media is also a strong advertising platform because it’s where couples will search the most for their vendors. The average age for engagement is 27 for women and 29 for men. This places the average engaged couple in the millennial generation, which relies heavily on social media.
In fact, businesses in the wedding industry are seeing a great number of couples plan their weddings almost completely on their smartphones. The Knot reported that today’s couples will often view a business as unreliable or outdated if they’re unable to find some kind of social media presence for a business.
It’s for this reason that many businesses in the wedding industry have been feeling the stress despite the average wedding cost increasing in recent years. Compared to the global spending of $5.58 billion on motorsports in 2016, the cost of the average wedding is almost $34,000, which is a $12,333 increase over a five years period.
Granted, much of this expense stems from both the economy and millennials’ customized preferences. In fact, 75% of American brides report that their engagement ring was made from diamonds and gold. And that’s just the engagement ring.
There’s also the event space to rent, the catering, cake, photography, and decorations. Food prep alone can take up to 22 hours. All of these expenses can add up to a hefty price tag.
Many of these modern customizations alongside the growing technological evolution has many businesses, especially small businesses, bending over backward in an attempt to work accordingly with their clients.
“Technology is constantly moving,” said Pollock. “It’s really hard because keeping up with that is so expensive. You have to be really careful about the choices you make because I can’t afford to swap out gear every season.”