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Matrimony sites to see 20.8mn registrations by 2015-16
Apr 01, 2016

Indians are utilizing the Web in a more frequent, varied areas than ever before. With Internet usage spanning both daily tasks as well as life's landmark events, it has been increasingly commonplace to find Indian businesses and consumers buying and selling household necessities and sharing daily advice on the Internet. But recently though, significant, personal milestones such as matchmaking has found its place on the Web. And joining the list is the e-Matrimony sites, which are here to stay.

A recent report "A Web Partner for Life: Indian Matrimony Web Sites are Modernizing Matchmaking for the Offline World and Positioning to be Lifelong Portals for the Online One" from EmPower Research, LLC captures the growth of e-Matrimony industry's current position in the country and shows how Indian e-marital sites will need to develop in order to succeed.

"One of the most popular lifetime milestones emerging on the Web is marriage matchmaking. Its popularity has grown mainly due to convenience and costs savings, and, as a result, the online matrimonial industry will reach 20.8 million registrations with revenues of $63 million by 2010-2011," says Kyung Han, managing partner, EmPower Research, LLC.

"Taking advantage of the booming Internet population, these e-Commerce sites are especially well-positioned for enormous subscriber and revenue growth in the next three to five years," he adds.

"Indian matrimony sites are emerging as leading candidates in controlling access to a majority of future, Web-based personal services/products - because of the still-evolving, online behavior of the average consumer, these match-making destinations have an advantage in creating lifelong, customer stickiness with the developing, Indian Web-user. This position of strength could very well change the future Internet landscape in one of the largest national economies in the coming years," the report says in its findings.

EmPower also sees that within three to five years, the online matrimonial industry in India will
converge with other online offerings such as job search and career planning, under one consolidated brand and seamless user experience. "Already, there are examples of this trend with today's e-Matrimony companies. This trend will only increase and accelerate until a few years from now when e-Matrimony sites will have transformed themselves into portals for a large majority (if not all) of the lifelong services for the Indian consumer," says Han.

Challenges before e-Matrimony sites
Despite the growing popularity of e-Matrimony sites, they have to gear up for the challenges in transformation. "Indians are very concerned with online safety and data confidentiality, especially when submitting personal information. With tremendous amount of data, scaling will not only be in terms of membership growth, but also the operations support for large membership base. Given that a partner match conceivably may end a user's subscription to an e-marital site, site stickiness within e-Matrimony is relatively low," says Han. "e-Matrimony companies must then add new products and services to extend the length of the subscription and simultaneously reposition themselves for greater loyalty," says Han.

However these challenges can be resolved by - Firstly, placing more focus and efforts on the security checks to build confidence among a larger set of consumers. Secondly, leveraging their data to deploy more targeted campaigns aimed at member-purchasers of products and offerings of partners/advertisers. Thirdly, incorporating other lifelong services under one umbrella brand with a user experience that reflects the natural progressions of life. Once these challenges are met and resolved, e-Matrimony companies are likely to be the lifelong portal for Indians worldwide.

"Security, scale and site stickiness are the major challenges before any Indian Matrimony site. It has to focus on 360 degree security and subscriptions; seamless scaling to leveraging of enormous data to target the right few and evolve from matchmaking to a lifetime of services," he reiterates.

"e-Matrimony sites can go a step further in offering services from one life stage to another - like retirement plan and senior citizen groups. They also have the opportunity to build in Web 2.0 technology and social network tools etc. They are strategically oriented, it is an evolving industry," says Han.

In all, e-matrimony sites will prove the emergence of the lifelong portal in India.