With couples postponing or drastically downsizing their weddings, growers destroying millions of flowers and event space operators filing for business loans, bridal companies are increasingly shifting their services online. Knowing that couples will continue to get engaged, despite the pandemic-induced shutdown, bridal companies are also planning for the future with easily accessible services for retailers and consumers.
The Pronovias Group has launched what it claims is the first digital showroom in the bridal industry. Geared exclusively for its customers, visitors will find the latest collections for the group’s brands — Pronovias, St. Patrick, Nicole, White One and Lady Bird. The initiative is part of Pronovias’ digital transformation through various channels that is meant to provide better service to its customers and brides. After being acquired by BC Partners in 2017, the digitalization process has been underway. The current confinement mandates in place in many countries has accelerated that effort. There are plans to expand the number of countries that offer virtual appointments, a company spokesman said Wednesday. Pronovias has more than 400 points of sale in 105 countries.
Pronovias is using social media for live webcasts and innovative content with influencers and others to help keep brides entertained. The company has also introduced a B2B e-service platform to exchange information with customers.
The impact of the COVID-19 shutdown is affecting how many in the wedding service industry conduct their businesses. Last year across all sectors — retailers, venues, wedding gown manufacturers and other bride-friendly resources — the wedding service industry generated $78 billion, according to IBISWorld. Understandably, many bridal designers, manufacturers and stores are amping up their digital presence to help shoppers and save jobs. As of 2018, the wedding service industry accounted for 1.2 million jobs in 377,045 businesses.
Last month, The Bridal Council announced that New York’s April 2020 Bridal Market was going digital. Companies are taking different approaches. The Justin Alexander Signature Collection will be presented later this week and it will include a webinar and Q&A to try to up the engagement level. Amsale is scheduling one-on-one media appointments. On another front, Anne Barge is scheduling virtual appointments with brides to help them get a better understanding of the different features of dresses, and to assist them in narrowing down their choices.
Other apparel companies are also trying to tap into the bridal industry’s embracement of there’s-been-a-change-in-plans approach. Knitss, Isabel Manns, Merve Bayindir, Taylor Yates, Syra J and Apujan have recently pitched fashion options for postponed honeymoons.