Today’s consumer is a demanding one. They want efficiency, speed, quality, and immediate customer service when things go awry. And most of these demands involve online interactions with retailers.
How Retailers Have Responded
To meet these demands, retailers have responded in a variety of ways. They offer discounts and fast, often free, shipping. And they provide returns and exchanges as seamlessly as possible.
But even more than that, they use technology to enhance the consumer experience in the purchasing process. Potential customers can now digitally paint their rooms; they can place furniture pieces in those rooms; they can try on clothing and glasses; they can “visit” towns and resorts they are considering for vacations. And before making a wine purchase, they can even access the actual production process in real-time.
Yes, technology has transformed the consumer shopping experience and many other aspects of our lives too.
Enter Online Dating
Technology has also entered the dating scene. It began with date-matching websites. People registered, provided some information about themselves, and stated their preferences for a match. They were entered into a database, and matches were completed by a combination of manual and programming methods.
Over time, it became popular because of consumer demand for speed and efficiency. The traditional ways of dating involved meeting someone in a variety of ways, setting up dates, and, if they did not work out, starting the process all over again. This involved time and money. And singles might have to “kiss a lot of toads” before finding their prince or princess.
But today’s singles want a better process, and online dating services have responded by turning dating into a “scientific” endeavor. They now use mathematical algorithms and artificial intelligence to locate far more accurate matches than they did when their services were new. And match seekers have time to evaluate these matches on their own time and get to know them before setting up an actual date.
A Walk Through a Typical Online Dating Scenario
- Step 1: Choose a Service that will best meet your needs. There are about 7500 online dating services worldwide. There are all-inclusive services, localized services, and niche services – those that cater to specific populations – religious, ethnic, seniors, even farmers, etc. Find one that will work for you.
- Step 2: Register on the Site or App: This is an important part of the process. You will create a profile that tells a few things about yourself and what you are looking for in a dating partner. And you’ll add a photo or two. The point is to make yourself “attractive” to those you will be matched with.
- Step 3: Once you submit your profile, the site algorithm does its magic and locates those who are the closest fit for what you want. These are then presented to you.
- Step 4: Once you receive those matches, you go through them, keep the ones of interest, and discard the others. Contact those of interest and begin to chat. This is rather like a “first date” scenario where you get to know each other better. If you enjoy one another’s company and have enough in common, then you may feel ready for a real-live date.
One note here: The more a registrant uses the site, the better the matches become. AI continues to refine information on each member as it generates matches.
Online Dating Explosion
Using online dating was already gaining in popularity before the Pandemic. But that pushed the numbers of users into new territory. Faced with closures and isolation, singles turned to these services for human contact, even though it was only digital. And online dating sites responded with plenty of new features, such as video chatting. Some are even experimenting with avatars that allow a couple to meet up in that way.
It’s Here, It’s Popular, and It Will Continue to Evolve
Currently, close to 400 million people are using online dating services as they discover a dating world that is convenient, and allows singles to meet up with those they may have never met otherwise. And they do this on their own time wherever they may be. Indeed, it’s the Amazon of dating.