From the dwindling number of checks written each year to the fact that a growing number of Millennials don’t know where to buy postage stamps (more on that shocker below), it’s no secret that clients today expect options to manage their wedding budget from behind a screen. In today’s Aisle Planner Pro Blog, we break down our top three reasons an online payments and budgeting option is a must for wedding pros, especially when it comes to making those all-important vendor payments. Why, you ask? Because who said paying the piper couldn’t be painless?
1. Online Payments & Budgeting meet expectations.
These days, online invoicing and payments are the expected, not the exception. Engaged couples—and particularly millennials—expect the option to manage their wedding payments online. As The Next Scoop puts it, “Digital banking is going to replace the traditional brick-and-mortar banking solution with a technological first-mindset. It will grow to more than 2 billion users by 2020.” What used to the be the norm—a physical check mailed in an envelope—is now considered a major inconvenience (especially considering we recently learned from Business Insider that some Millennials missed mailing in their 2018 midterm ballots because they didn’t know where to buy stamps—let that fun fact sink in). Couple that with the fact that Americans wrote over 40 billion checks in 2000, but under 20 billion in 2015 and it’s easy to see why, as a small business operator, providing clients an online payment option is a virtual requirement.
Pro Tip: Haven’t started using Aisle Planner’s to collect client payments yet? Check out this helpful intro guide to invoicing and online payments. You can even accept payments from clients or other pros who don’t have an Aisle Planner account.
2. Online Payments & Budgeting create transparency.
Millennials are all about transparency—they want to trust the people they choose to plan their wedding. Likewise, whether they choose to be super involved or not, they also want to know they can trust the process itself. Using Aisle Planner’s budget tool allows you to offer your clients and, specifically, your millennial couples, the transparency they seek by managing their wedding budget on a platform both parties can easily access at any time. Clients get a comprehensive look at what’s been spent in which categories, what invoices are upcoming, which payments are due this month, and how much of their total wedding budget they’ve spent so far—all in a clear, digestible format. Plus, when it comes to collecting your payments, wedding pros can set up Aisle Planner’s online payment reminders so clients receive a helpful heads up about invoice due dates—that way, they’re not caught off guard by a missed payment or late-payment fee.
3. Online Payments & Budgeting add value.
Offering a way for clients to pay your invoices online is just the start—it’s what’s expected. But a value-add comes in when you plan their wedding on a platform that seamlessly integrates every aspect of budgeting and planning—from invoicing and payments to vendor contracts—making the wedding-planning process seamless for both parties. We know from the Next Scoop’s “The Top 10 Small Business Trends Taking over 2018” that, “The next upcoming trend is value-based selling.” In other words, clients want to see your value before they’ll sign on the dotted line—and a platform that makes managing their budget and their overall wedding a seamless, simple, approachable process is a serious value add to communicate when you’re selling your services.
The digital shift in managing our dimes and dollars isn’t showing any sign of slowing down—which is why, from online invoicing to email payment reminders, budgeting from behind a screen is a key part of the client experience you offer. (Psst…looking for even more reasons to accept payments on Aisle Planner? Check out all of the benefits of our online invoicing for wedding pros here.)