Suppliers: Consumer confidence has returned
According to our April reports, consumer confidence has returned! We have seen an incredible increase in wedding enquiries and the Guides for Brides website traffic has increased by 83.1%. We compared April 2021 to April 2019 and saw an increase of 40.7% too, showing that confidence levels have well and truly returned and couples are actively looking for their venue and suppliers again.
Consumer confidence is back
The website traffic has clearly increased across the board, however, there are other markers which demonstrate consumer confidence returning within our April reports.
Since January 2021, we have seen a significant increase in site traffic and gradual increase in enquiries. So far, the enquiry level has been on par with pre-pandemic statistics. For April, we have seen this rise by 136.5%.
This suggests that while many couples were eager to begin researching for their wedding over the traditional engagement period this year, some were hesitant to enquire due to extended lockdowns. It is safe to assume that the couples enquiring now have done their research and know what they are looking for. They are ready to book and feeling confident enough to make buying decisions quickly!
Supplier searches increase
In April 2021, we saw supplier category searches increase across the board. A couple of noteworthy trends have appeared.
Wedding retailers all saw a huge increase in page views showing the backed-up demand for bespoke retail services and the excitement for them to finally return in April. Couples were keen to get an appointment booked with wedding retailers in order to have the specialist service they provide. It is likely couples looking for these services have weddings later in 2021.
- Mother of the Bride searches increased by 820.5%
- Menswear searches increased by 601.8%
- Bridal Wear searches increased by 294.7%
- Wedding Jewellery searches increased by 170.89%
Late Availability searches
All wedding suppliers saw an increase in traffic showing that couples are ready to actively find professionals to service their weddings. The majority of those suppliers typically booked sooner in the wedding planning, such as photographers (+49.91%) did see an increase in search traffic, but not to the extent of the suppliers typically booked within 6 months of the wedding taking place. This also suggests that couples are still looking for wedding services for their weddings in 2021.
- Florists saw an increase in searches of 110.15%
- Beauty, Hair and Make-up searches increased by 205.58%
- Searches for Wedding Cake Designers increased by 270.38%
- Wedding Transport saw a rise of 295.04%
- Discos / DJs also saw an increase at 195.39%
Unsurprisingly, specialist videography and live streaming has become a particular interest for couples as well, with searches for professional videographers up by 117.76%.
Notably, entrances to our Late Availability pages increased by 155.48%. This confirms that couples are wanting to shop smarter by finding professionals who are available on their wedding date. We advise all who have limited availability or can only do one wedding per day to update their calendar feature regularly to be found in these searches.
Marquee weddings: a stand out trend with benefits for many different suppliers
April saw a boom in couples searching for marquee wedding venues and spaces. This search was up by 164.38% from last year.
Subsequently, suppliers often associated with outdoor and marquee weddings also saw an increase in search traffic:
- Searches for Marquee companies increased by 151.8%
- Catering and catering hire companies saw a search increase of 265.5%
- Searches for Celebrants doubled; an increase of just over 100%
- Wedding planners and coordinator searches increased by 91.3%
It is clear that outdoor focused and marquee weddings will be a trend for 2021 and 2022.
Why couples are confident
Following multiple, positive government announcements that have all reduced restrictions on weddings across the UK, couples are feeling more positive that their weddings in 2021 will be able to go ahead. This, combined with our consistent messages to couples, encouraging them to book as soon as they can due to demand (on our website, on social media and through videos) has clearly helped with consumer confidence.
From the experts
We have all worked so hard over many months to ensure that confidence remains high and that couples are ready to book as soon as they know their wedding can happen. It is great to see that finally happening.Alison Hargreaves, Wedding industry expert and Guides for Brides CEO
Thousands of couples sit in the pipeline and are now feeling that they can safely book and they understand that they will need to do so quickly due to the demand placed on venues and suppliers. They have spent lockdown doing their wedding research. They now know what they want and will move fast to get their first choice of wedding professionals.
How can you maximise the benefit?
We do expect to see above average levels of enquiries through the rest of 2021 as the backlog of couples gradually clears. The greatest opportunities will be over the next few weeks with couples trying to beat each other to the best suppliers on peak dates.
Here are steps you can take to maximise the opportunities:
- Ensure your listing is up to date with relevant information, clear pricing, accurate filters (where relevant) and with good quality imagery.
- List available (or limited availability) dates on our late availability pages by updating your calendar.
- Ensure your policy around cancellations and postponements will protect your business but also reassure new couples.
- Customer service is of the utmost importance to couples right now, they want to make sure they book someone they can trust. Make sure you have recent reviews on your listing, even kind words from couples who you’ve helped through a postponement will be effective!
- Be available! Endeavour to respond to email enquiries in good time and make sure your out of office doesn’t close your door. If you have premises, it may be useful to redirect your phone to your mobile.
As always, the team at Guides for Brides is here to help if you need any additional guidance or support while navigating this boom.