Photographers: An average of 67 weddings per year?

Photography is one of the largest sectors in the wedding industry.  It's also one of the most saturated and competitive markets, and accounts for 16% of all wedding businesses across Australia.

WeddingPhotographers

The photography sector is entirely made up of small businesses that primarily service a local community.  Most businesses are owner operated with 1 or 2 additional staff and there are a growing number of consortiums, where local photographers collaborate under an umbrella brand.  The industry has no regulatory body and anyone with sufficient means can establish a photography business.

The sector offers an enticing vocation for both professionals and amateurs, and established suppliers must contend with a constant stream of start-up businesses entering the market.  This creates a highly competitive environment and puts downward pressure on prices, and on profit margins.  Successful wedding photographers are most often businesses that do not solely compete on price, but secure bookings based on the quality of their products and service.

The number of photography suppliers that can sustain a successful business in the wedding industry grows only slightly over time in line with slow growth in actual weddings.  And as the number of start-ups entering the market is high, so too is the volume of market exits.  As we continue to research the wedding photography sector, the high level of competition is evident in the frequency that we find dormant websites and abandoned Facebook pages.

So far our research has uncovered 1,642 wedding photographers around Australia.  With 110,000+ weddings in Australia every year, this equates to about 67 weddings per business per year.  It would suggest, there are probably more photographers yet to appear out of the online woodwork.

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There are how many Wedding Suppliers in Australia?

There is something euphoric about embarking on a big new project.  Its like peering into a lucky dip box at the local Easter Show.  You never know what little goodies are lurking in that box and there's a feeling of excitement and opportunity.  We're at that exciting stage where we've got an opportunity to address long standing issues embedded in the wedding industry.  One of the first insights we gathered at the start of this project was that productivity would be improved if all wedding suppliers could be found in one online location.  With that in mind our first challenge was set to find all of the businesses that service weddings in Australia.

10625

Our research indicates that the Australian wedding industry is serviced by 10,625 actively engaged businesses at any one time.  For the purpose of our research, 'actively engaged' means any supplier who has an up-to-date website, an up-to-date blog or a current presence on social media that includes regular reference to working with weddings.  We generally did  not include businesses where we could not establish if a recent wedding had been serviced.  Some businesses that did not conform to these requirements were included if they appeared to be in start-up mode.

Customers searching online, (if they were so inclined) could actually find closer to 20,000 Australian wedding suppliers.  About half of which are defunct businesses that still have an active web domain but an abandoned Facebook page.  The Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) states on their website: "…out of the 35,508 wedding suppliers rated by ABIA brides, 21,628 have either gone broke, ceased servicing weddings or disappeared…"

As we continue to fine comb the internet, searching for wedding suppliers page by page, it really is apparent why the industry has never achieved having all of its businesses in one handy location.  (Or even just half of them)  The only way to provide access to the 10,625 active wedding suppliers in Australia, is to literally search the internet by hand.  It's not the most exciting job to be honest, but having the entire industry in one online spot offers a huge opportunity to increase productivity in the industry.  We're pretty excited about that!

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The Prototype

When we decided to create Wedlockers, it was apparent that the website needed to offer a whole new concept to the wedding industry.  Access to the full range of industry products and services is not available on existing wedding sites, and there has never been an efficient way of differentiating between wedding suppliers online.  If we wanted to solve these two issues, we would need to build an entirely new type of wedding website and a brand new business model.

Wedding suppliers would need to be able to promote their services free of charge, but we also wanted to provide a way for businesses to receive recognition that would differentiate them in the market.  The business model would include cost effective marketing solutions that provide maximum exposure for wedding suppliers exactly when they need it.  We created a new concept in online media designed specifically for the wedding industry.

In the world of start-ups, this poses the dilemma that we might not have everything 100% right. The Wedlockers concept has never been tested in the market before because we've created it from scratch.  Consequently, it was decided to build enough of the site that we could test it with the market before the full site is launched.  This prototype is now complete.

We will shortly be sending out invitations for wedding suppliers to get involved in the pre-launch testing phase.  We can't wait to share our unique wedding website with you.  

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The Wedlockers Team

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