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“We met online” – India’s Love Story is now mobile

Vasuta Agarwal
Vasuta Agarwal
Managing Director, APAC
5 min read
Posted on February 19, 2016
“We met online” – India’s Love Story is now mobile

A man in his fifty’s usually carries 3 thick files of prospective partners and comes to your house. He’s called a ‘broker’ and he’s partly responsible for nearly 90% of ‘arranged’ marriages in India. This phenomenon of marriages gradually moved online about 5 years ago, but brokers are still alive and kicking. Then came the mobile revolution.

People spend several hours each day with their noses buried in their smartphones. We source rich content, information, entertainment and even socialise through this device. And slowly, our biggest social venture of finding a life-long partner is gradually moving online – specifically mobile.

TrulyMadly, one of the largest dating apps in the country has witnessed 100% month-on-month growth (BusinessStandard).The opportunity to break away from the limitations of geographic boundaries was unprecedented. If there’s one perfect partner for you out there – what are the chances he or she will bump into you? The odds of that are much higher online rather than offline!

The Internet’s love bug bites

The internet age in India might have come a decade later than developed countries but now that it’s here, it’s taken the country by storm. With no apprehensions based on past experience, India has jumped onto the online dating bandwagon as soon as dating apps launched in the country.

Worldwide, people spend about 90 minutes in a day browsing through dating apps (NY Times). That’s almost one-third of daily smartphone usage! Rest of the time people spend texting, socializing or gaming. Dating apps are extremely engaging as well – attracting people to log in close to 11 times in a single day.

Unfettered by traditional views, the millennials have contributed in a major way to the dating scenario in the country. They make up over a third of the user base of these apps. Combining that with their spending power and dating can become a major shopping exercise – especially on Valentine’s Day! It’s no wonder that the e-commerce industry celebrates India’s love for dating!

You can’t buy love – but you can buy gifts

So how pricy is the festival of love? Data from YS and TNS Research estimates revenue generated on Valentine’s Day alone is 20 billion rupees, making it the 3rd largest shopping festival in the country. The festival is celebrated by everyone, couples – both married and unmarried – as well as the single people out there.

The importance of this festival has not been lost on major e-commerce players. Week-long sales on their websites offer massive discounts across all major gifting categories such as soft toys, electronics and cards. Understanding the different drivers for each individual customer, and targeting them with campaigns for gifting ideas being brilliantly orchestrated.

With deep level customer insights, ecommerce players can easily target an individual based on his or her relationship status. Are you single? How about showing yourself some love by buying that gadget you’ve always wanted? In a relationship? Show your partner how much she means to you with this jewellery set. Also, love comes in all shapes and sizes – don’t forget to show your parents how much you love them!

Dating needs hearts – and wallets!

Gifting is as much a part of Valentine’s Day as it is of Diwali or Christmas. In fact, your relationship status might hinge on you buying your significant other a gift on this festival. A study shows that 53% of women break up with their boyfriends for not getting a gift on Valentine’s Day! This little titbit of insight has not escaped the notice of men who spend twice as much as women during the week leading up to 14th February (YS and TNS Research).

The world of dating has brought together technology, shopping and romance. While some might argue that online dating misses out on the opportunity of creating a meaningful connection which can happen only in person, the growth of dating apps say otherwise. The tech savvy millennials socialise, communicate and forge friendships online – so why not relationships as well?

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