The novel coronavirus pandemic is throwing multiple industries into disarray.
Basically, any market operation that requires face-to-face interaction, like dating and dating-related businesses, is having a challenging if not an existential crisis.
But that is not going to be a permanent state as we can presume and many are pivoting to digital platforms and solutions to overcome the unique challenges posed by COVID-19. Hence the continuous development of the online dating businesses.
Along with digital banking, the rise of the online dating business is part of the general move towards everything virtual as well as a natural market response to the growing needs of consumers to have everything a point-and-click or tap away.
CNBC reports that, during the pandemic along, online dates and virtual meetings are up at least 25%. Even the Match Group launched a hotline for people to meet up during these difficult times.
Beyond the pandemic, however, the picture isn’t as clear – as it isn’t for many digitally market-based industries. While many analysts expect the rise of online dating and virtual meetings to continue to grow, it is unknown whether dating, of all aspects of life, can be truly moved into a digital space.
Dating app Hinge reported that, “70% of Hinge users expressed interest in going on digital dates, we’re encouraging our community to ‘date from home’ using phone calls and video chats to build connections.”
Yet given the very situation-specific nature of that statement, many industry insiders are having a hard time reading the tea leaves about what comes next. It isn’t unreasonable to think that dating might largely move into a digital space, especially when considering how many aspects of social life have done the same, but it’s still a difficult proposition to sell given the cultural connotations around the dating process.
In the meantime, many platforms are promoting health and wellness alongside their dating services. On top of connecting people, apps like Bumble are increasingly showing concern for the wellbeing. Given the unique constraints the novel coronavirus has placed on many people, mental health and beyond, that’s not a bad strategy.
The Facebook failure.
And it isn’t like the dating game is a guaranteed business, either. Given the spectacular failure of Facebook’s dating service launch, the notion that you can take success for granted is not only being challenged but outright debunked. Given the scale and resources that Facebook brought to bear on the project, its inability to even take off from the tarmac is a cautionary tale of how nuanced and specific the dating niche is.
Looking ahead, Facebook’s pursuit of integrating the dating service with its teleconferencing and messaging technologies could bear fruit for the company depending on how it is executed.
The real tale of the tape will only come when the pandemic starts to break. When that happens, the viability of online dating and virtual meetings will be put to the test. Early reports from users of the virtual dating methodologies that apps like Bumble and Hinge are pioneering say that the users will return in the future. Whether that holds or not is a question for tomorrow.
If you are running an online dating business and want to benefit in an optimal way from this evergrowing digital industry you should also plan and implement well your payments and financial transactions mechanisms.
There are a number of advantages of Monneo’s digital banking services that we have successfully deployed among our clients operating in the online dating space. Contact us to learn more about how can help you with digital payment solutions or apply directly for your virtual IBAN on our website.