The Extraordinary Growth of Matrimonial Sites During the Pandemic

The Extraordinary Growth of Matrimonial Sites During the Pandemic
Growth of Matrimonial Sites During the Pandemic

The impact of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in almost all business sectors, but matrimonial sites were an exception, as they had witnessed a huge growth in the number of new customers. With most people being confined to their houses amid the lockdown, they were spending more time browsing online matrimonial websites in order to find the right match.

The pandemic had helped various matrimonial sites like Shaadi.com, Jeevansathi.com, BharatMatrimony, etc. garner more customers. From offering special schemes to helping couples get married virtually amid lockdown, these websites were not leaving any stone unturned to attract more customers.

Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder and CEO of Matrimony.com, whose flagship brand is BharatMatrimony, said that their site receives an average of 14,000 to 15,000 registrations in a day, but after the lockdown, there had been a rise of 30% in the number of registrations.

Similarly, Shaadi.com had also seen a 20% rise in new customer registrations during the lockdown period.

Now, as we dive into the fascinating world of matrimonial sites and their extraordinary growth during the pandemic, we'll explore the reasons and exciting developments that brought in a surge of new customers, fostering meaningful connections in such challenging times.

Reasons for the Growth of Matrimonial Sites
Increasing Revenues of the Matrimonial Sites
The Impact of Video Features on Matrimonial Sites
Pandemic's Growing User Base for Matrimonial Sites
The Rise of Fake Profiles

Reasons for the Growth of Matrimonial Sites

Best Matrimonial Sites in India
Best Matrimonial Sites in India

The growth of matrimonial sites during the pandemic can be attributed to several key factors that uniquely catered to the changing circumstances brought on by lockdown restrictions. One of the primary reasons behind this surge was the widespread adoption of remote work. With the majority of professionals working from home due to lockdown restrictions, they found themselves with ample free time as daily commutes and other social engagements were restricted. This newfound time presented an opportune moment for many to explore and engage with online matrimonial platforms, dedicating more attention to browsing potential partners' profiles and shortlisting suitable matches.

In the pre-pandemic era, the demanding nature of work and busy schedules often hindered youngsters from fully engaging in the search for life partners. However, the lockdown period allowed them to prioritize their quest for companionship, leading to increased interest and participation in online matrimonial sites.

Moreover, the pandemic's emotional toll and the desire for stability and connection further motivated individuals to seek meaningful relationships. With uncertainties surrounding the world outside, many turned to these platforms as a way to forge lasting bonds and find solace in the prospect of a committed relationship.

"The engagement level of customers and profile acquisitions on our site is growing. To meet the rising demand, we have leveraged our services also" said Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and CEO of Matrimony.com.

Matrimonial sites also adapted to the changing demands by offering unique incentives to their customers. The companies were providing special offers wherein customers didn't have to pay for the lockdown days, and their memberships would be extended automatically.

Shaadi.com is one of the best matrimonial sites in India, and it utilized the opportunity to enhance its reach among customers by focusing more on social media campaigns. Besides, in order to help couples who were not able to tie knots due to the lockdown, Shaadi.com launched an innovative initiative called “Weddings from Home”. This online wedding service aimed to facilitate smooth virtual weddings for couples wanting to tie the knot during the restrictive period.

Through the "Weddings from Home" initiative, Shaadi.com provided comprehensive end-to-end services to honor couples' big days virtually. From arranging priests to officiate the wedding and offering bridal makeup tutorials to organizing sangeet singers, all ceremonies were seamlessly conducted through online video calls. The platform's efforts received widespread acceptance, with even tech-challenged relatives and friends wholeheartedly embracing the idea, offering unwavering support to the couples during those extraordinary times.

Weddings From Home by Shaadi.com

Increasing Revenues of the Matrimonial Sites

The growth in traffic and registration had led to positive growth in revenue as well; it was not linear but still positive. In the arranged marriage set-up, most users consult their families before making decisions, hence, in pre-Covid times, most of the traction came on weekends. But during the pandemic, traffic was almost evenly distributed on weekdays as well.

The matrimonial site, Jeevansathi, experienced significant growth throughout the lockdown, as its billings grew by 13% in Q1’21, and in the months of July and August, the billing growth has been even better. In August, the billing grew by 23%. The surge in registrations and user activity on the platform during the lockdown contributed to this growth. Additionally, its strategic marketing efforts resulted in attracting more new users.

During the pandemic, BharatMatrimony, one of the first matrimonial sites, led the country’s organized online matchmaking sector with a 60% market share, followed by Shaadi.com with a 30% share and Jeevansathi with a 10% share. Beyond these well-known platforms, there are also numerous regional and language- or community-based websites and portals catering to specific preferences. The top three players in the matrimony business—BharatMatrimony, Jeevansaathi.com, and Shaadi.com—contribute to a substantial share of the country's online matchmaking sector, with combined revenue exceeding Rs 1,000 crore.

The remarkable increase in traffic, registrations, and user engagement not only expanded the user base but also contributed to the positive growth in revenue for matrimonial sites during the pandemic.

Jeevansathi generated a revenue of Rs 96.9 crore, whereas Matrimony.com generated a revenue of Rs 377.8 crore in FY21.

Revenue Growth of Top Indian Matrimonial Sites (Jeevansathi.com, Matrimony.com)
Revenue Growth of Top Indian Matrimonial Sites (Jeevansathi.com, Matrimony.com)

The Impact of Video Features on Matrimonial Sites

Matrimonial sites are embracing new ways of matchmaking, and video features have played a pivotal role in their growth, even during the lockdown days.

Shaadi.com, which is one of the most popular matrimonial websites in India, launched Shaadi Meet, a video/voice calling feature exclusively for premium members. With in-person meetings restricted due to the pandemic, this feature enabled potential brides and grooms to interact safely through virtual means.

The response was overwhelming, with nearly 75,000 users utilizing the service on the first day, escalating to 105,000 users on the following day. In less than a month, the number of video calls exceeded 500,000, indicating the growing acceptance of this innovation in matrimonial match-ups.

The introduction of video calling features addressed the need for safe communication among users who were hesitant to share personal contact details like WhatsApp numbers with strangers. In this aspect, Bharat Matrimony's "Secure Connect" feature further empowers women, allowing them to receive calls from premium members without disclosing their contact numbers. Women have full control over responding to the other party, ensuring privacy and safety in their search for a life partner.

Experts say this added feature will help empower women. “It might address the phenomenon of men stalking women. Restricting men’s ownership of communication is very welcome,” said Madhavi Menon, Director of the Center for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University.

Overall, the incorporation of video features into matrimonial sites has not only deepened user engagement but also enhanced the safety and convenience of the matchmaking process, making it an invaluable tool in such challenging times.

Pandemic's Growing User Base for Matrimonial Sites

The pandemic has brought about a shift in the target audience of matrimonial sites, with specific groups showing increased interest in finding a life partner through these platforms.

One significant segment includes Indians who are divorced or have lost their partner and are now considering another partner.

Rohan Mathur, the Chief Business Officer at Jeevansathi said, “In the last two months, we have also seen an increase in second marriage profiles, and the year-on-year growth has doubled. Additionally, the growth seen in second marriage profiles during COVID-19 has outdone the overall platform growth.”

Another group contributing to the surge in users on matrimonial websites consists of working individuals who are single. Adhish Zaveri, the Marketing Director of Shaadi.com, highlights that singles were already active on the platform before the pandemic, accounting for 70% of the profiles. However, the COVID-19 period has further accentuated this trend. Engagement on Shaadi.com in small cities witnessed a rise of 30–35%. The easing of restrictions, or "unlocks," has also played a role as people consider organizing weddings in a small, intimate setting.

As the pandemic continues to impact lifestyles and relationships, matrimonial sites are witnessing an increased influx of users, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of these specific target groups.


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The Rise of Fake Profiles

One of the negative aspects of matrimonial sites that comes with an increased number of users is fake profiles. The number of signups has gone up by an average of 400% week-on-week from what it was before COVID-19, which unfortunately includes an increase in the number of fake profiles. To counter them, the websites are introducing more advanced profile filtering and privacy control technology.

The trend of increasing signups is also visible on EliteMatrimony, which caters to people with high net worth and celebrities. In India, about 60 million people are looking for life partners at any given time, out of which 10 to 12 million get married a year, which constitutes 24 million couples. When it comes to online matchmaking, only 6 to 7 million people register, out of which only 20% find a match, said Mr. Janakiraman.

Conclusion

Despite the constraints posed by the pandemic and lockdown, the wedding industry witnessed a significant surge in the number of customers registering on matrimonial sites. In India, the wedding market, valued at a staggering $50 billion, has been experiencing rapid annual growth rates. The digital shift has prompted the wedding marketplace to enhance its product features, offering an enhanced mobile app experience to cater to the evolving preferences of its customers.

With more people turning to online platforms to find their life partners and organize weddings in the face of lockdown restrictions, matrimonial sites became a vital lifeline, fostering meaningful connections and paving the way for the celebration of love amid the unprecedented circumstances. As the industry continues to adapt to the changing landscape, the growth and innovations witnessed during the past pandemic are likely to have a lasting impact on the future of weddings and matrimonial services in India.

FAQs

What is a matrimonial site?

A matrimonial site is a platform that helps brides and grooms find their perfect match.

How many matrimonial sites are there in India?

There are over 1500 matrimonial sites in India. Some of the leading matrimonial sites are Shaadi.com, BharatMatrimony, Jeevansathi.com, and more.

How do matrimonial sites make money?

Matrimonial sites make money through various methods, including annual subscription services, premium features, and advertising.

Which is the best matrimonial service in India?

Some of the best matrimonial sites are BharatMatrimony.com, Shaadi.com, Jeevansaathi.com, Vivaah.com, and SecondShaadi.com.

What is the market share of matrimony sites in India?

In India, BharatMatrimony holds the dominant position in the organized online matchmaking sector, capturing 60% of the market share. Shaadi.com follows closely with a 30% share, while Jeevansathi holds 10% of the market share.

How do you find yourself a perfect partner in matrimony?

Tips to Find Your Perfect Partner on a Matrimonial Site:

  1. Establish a strong connection with someone you resonate with.
  2. Conduct background research to ensure compatibility and trustworthiness.
  3. Seek a partner who shares common interests and values.
  4. Mutual respect is crucial in any relationship.
  5. Invest time in getting to know each other better.
  6. Spend quality time together to strengthen your bond.
  7. Assess their loyalty and trustworthiness in the relationship.

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