Tinder, Lulu, Grouper. Unless you’re a part of the online dating scene, you might not even recognize that these are the names of websites. However, even if you are not currently looking for that perfect mate, it’s worth paying attention to these sites: Online dating is a revolutionary industry that can provide insight into your own customers.
As a small-business owner who’s operating a website, creating an app or selling an online service, digital dating sites may be one place to look for inspiration. Scott Steinberg, a technology and innovation consultant, believes that online dating platforms can be a “goldmine” for research: “The beauty of these platforms is they show us in a more human and personable way how we can deliver content, deliver messages, and ultimately let [users] interact with it.”
Depending on their ages or interests, people gravitate toward different dating services. For example, Match.com’s audience is different than the millennial audience of Tinder, whose members are looking for quick, mobile introductions and brief interactions via photos and messaging on their smartphones.
Analyzing these digital trends may help you gain a better grasp of your customers’ online expectations and preferences. Incorporate that research into your own products, and you may find the missing piece to your consumer research puzzle.
“People forget there’s the human element of technology, and people are expecting things to be very usable and to be very intuitive,” said Steinberg. “They want to jump right in and enjoy them.”
If you’re targeting younger generations, Steinberg believes there is quite a bit an outside company can learn from the online dating scene–not to mention potential partnership opportunities for customized services or ads and specialized promotions. Depending on their privacy policies, these online dating platforms may have massive amounts of user data available for those who partner with them.
“It’s about understanding better where [potential customers] live online and their behaviors, and how to better speak to them and target them,” he said. “What makes them tick?”