I’m Anshika Arora, Founder of Eternity UK, the UK’s first South Asian Wedding Planning App. We bridge the gap for newly-engaged overwhelmed couples, to help them navigate through all things weddings.
Whether it be literal £££ savings through our Eternity Rewards Club, or providing the only place in the UK to browse, favourite & enquire 300+ nationwide businesses under one roof; or even by simply using and sharing our digital planning tools, to seamlessly plan their big day — we have it all!”
In 2020, when my sister was getting married, I noticed she was using a combination of Google, Instagram, Excel sheets, Word documents, Notes app, notebooks & so much more, to try and keep track of her wedding. It was a mess.
We would constantly look at platforms like Hitched.com in the UK, or WedMeGood in India, and notice that there was nothing quite the same for our £3bn+ South Asian wedding market in the UK.
After carrying out some market research with suppliers & couples, we noticed that tons of businesses have started to curate an Asian Wedding Directory equivalent, but none of them has succeeded.
The obvious question was ‘Why?’ — if there’s 100% demand, then why has no business been able to successfully provide a platform?
After getting to the root of the problem, which was successfully driving traffic, we set out a 3-tier user acquisition strategy, and 5-point marketing strategy — and since then we have reached 1000+ clients in under a year!”
We launched on February 11th 2022. At this time, I was still working my full-time role as a Relationship Manager — I worked with wonderful clients and learnt so much about stakeholder management, pitching, and building genuine connections. It was tricky to balance the two and realised I was only ever able to give 50% at both my role and the business.
In April 2022, I resigned and took the business full-time. My business is predominantly value-driven, as opposed to being an instant revenue generator, which is often the case with marketing & advertising channels; so it was definitely scary.
However, as time has gone on, I have established a consistent client base, and have been able to prove the value of the platform and the app. The early days were nerve-wracking but definitely provided me with the right motivation to explore new and different avenues, and bring ‘younger marketing’ in front of a newer audience.
Tons! Our business model splits into user acquisition (couples) and supplier acquisition (wedding businesses), and so the strategies vary throughout.
For user acquisition, it's been a lot of Instagram Reels, TikToks, Email Marketing, & Exhibitions. The brand definitely has a more professional / helpful personality on the Reels & Emails; followed by an extremely candid and quirky personality on TikTok. Interestingly, TikTok is where 60% of our client base came from in 2022!
For supplier acquisition, it's been a lot of Exhibitions, Associations, Networking & Instagram. I follow a two-pronged approach on our supplier acquisition, which includes building a virtual relationship and consolidating it in person. It's been so wonderful to meet so many like-minded individuals, and form long term relationships with them.
The biggest hurdle for us was overcoming the label of being just a ‘directory’. Not only does it sound a bit boring, and not fit in with our branding at all, but it’s also only purely a third of what we do for consumers.
Specifically, in the Asian wedding industry, where there have been tons of directories come & go, they’ve also left a bit of a sour taste in suppliers' mouths; wherein it’s not viewed as a good return on investment.
Our biggest challenge has been changing that mindset of suppliers and explaining to them exactly how our marketing & advertising strategies differ, and sharing the bigger purpose with them.
The way we deal with it is by constantly reminding clients that we’re more than that! More importantly, we like to remind them of our Rewards Club which gives them access to tons of promotional offers from suppliers. By reminding them that they can save money, consumers generally start to associate us with that instead.
Before Eternity UK, I was a Relationship Manager at a Private Bank. It was a wonderful job, and I loved the team that I worked with, the clients we had, and the office! I was there for 2.5 years and joined the Bank straight from my summer internship with them. It was the right time to quit when I realised my motivation levels weren’t quite there. This was unfair to me, and the team I worked with.
Additionally, I noticed I was saying ‘no’ to several business opportunities because they clashed with my traditional working hours; or I couldn’t travel there in time after my work day finished.
It was the right time to quit when I felt that I had invested a lot of time & money into the business, but wasn’t able to fully give it the attention it needed to excel.
Our business’ competitive advantage is definitely our tech infrastructure. By being the UK’s first South Asian Wedding Planning App, we’ve already bridged the gap between the historically successful industry, and modern-day consumer consumption habits. A digital business definitely has its challenges, but there are so many endless perks of convenience for consumers and the data for suppliers.
Second, to this, it’s the fact that I am my target audience. Being part of the newer generation: who downloads a cool new app to try out every few days, is sustainably conscious to not waste tons of paper on notepads that I’ll never use again, and demands something more aesthetically pleasing to look at (rather than just a plain excel sheet!), helps me to enhance the business in the way that consumers demand it.
Lastly, we understand the struggles that suppliers face. When you run a full-time events business, the last thing you want to be doing is scrolling through TikTok to find the trends, or Instagram to find the boosted audios, or online to find the best ways to copywrite and engage your audience. That’s where we step in, to create a low-touch marketing & advertising strategy for our clients.
The business is currently about to have its 1st birthday! I’m most excited to reflect on my learnings from the last year and celebrate my achievements. By doing this, it positions us in a better place to focus our energy and efforts in the right places for our 2nd year.
Our short-term dreams include greater brand recognition and helping our couples and suppliers meet each other in a fun and relaxed way (away from the stress of judging a business by its Instagram followers).
Particularly for this year, we want more and more couples to tap into our Eternity Rewards Club, where we’ve spent time partnering up with incredibly talented wedding suppliers, to provide our members with promotional offers; saving them literally hundreds of pounds.
Specifically, during the time of the cost of living crisis, we want couples to not compromise and still have their dream wedding, as they initially envisioned.
Our long-term goals are to be a household name for wedding planning. When a couple gets engaged, we want to hear ‘sign up to Eternity UK!’ from all their friends and family.
Is my network a resource? Honestly, it's been talking to likeminded individuals, which has been the most useful.
YouTube - I personally love hearing other people's stories, and also looking at each YouTube creator from a marketing standpoint.
Always looking for partnerships in the wedding space!