What If eCommerce Sites Offered Dating?

True love could be just a click away.

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Image credit: The Verge

There are a lot of dating sites out there, each trying to differentiate itself from the competition (mostly by marketing hype) in order to convince us to sign away a few dollars a month in exchange for the promise of True Love, or at least True Enough For Tonight.

Yet the real giants of the Internet, the eCommerce sites, are the ones we should be looking to for our relationships. These sites have perfected click-to-order and customer reviews. They have clever algorithms that steer us towards the products we’re most likely to be interested in, and they have no-questions-asked return policies.

Doesn’t that sound like the right way to approach online dating?

Here’s what dating ought to look like, courtesy of some of our best-known eCommerce behemoths:

Amazon

Scroll down the drop-down list of options and between Lighting and Luggage we find Love, the category that lets us shop for our date. We type into the search bar our product criteria (height, weight, hair & eye color, etc.) and Amazon’s amazing matching algorithm will show us custom-selected results.

We can read customer reviews to see what people like us thought about the dates we’re considering (“The product description said this date is good for the whole family but my sister didn’t like him at all”). We can see product features (basic body measurements, power requirements, what’s included in the box) and compare to other potential dates that may cost a little more.

When we click to purchase, assuming we’re an Amazon Prime member, our new date will appear on our doorstep within four hours. And if the date doesn’t fit, or is the wrong color, we can send it back with no questions asked. No need for ghosting or that difficult break-up conversation. Just print the return label at home, attach it to the unwanted date, leave the date on our doorstep, and UPS will come and whisk it away.

Etsy

Who hasn’t wished their date would show up dressed more appropriately? Well, with Etsy Dating, we’re the ones who dress and decorate our date ourselves!

We can design a knitted wool sweater with a delightful unicorn emblazoned across the front. We can select just the right pair of craft beige loafers. And of course we can bedazzle those handmade retro horn-rimmed spectacles for the perfect finishing touch. Now that our date is perfectly outfitted a happy and successful evening is practically ensured.

For those of us with an age fetish, checking out Etsy’s Vintage category is sure to provide some delightful surprises. We can imagine running our hands over deeply-wrinkled skin, gazing happily at the patina of a date who’s spent far too many years left out in the back yard under the blazing sun. And if we’re anxious about being on-trend we can glance at the Popular Right Now section to be sure of selecting a date that’s just like everyone else’s date, for that true I’m-an-individual-in-precisely-the-same-way-as-everyone-else feeling.

eBay

OK, we have to admit, hardly anyone goes to eBay these days. So pickings may be slim. And sure, we’ll have to scrawl through a lot of visual clutter in order to find a potential date that appeals to us. And then we’ll have to bid on the date, and not know if we’ve won until the bidding is over. Unless the date is a fixed-price item, in which case we’ll need to work out for ourselves whether or not it’s really worth the asking price. Who knows if it will turn up with defects? And because we have to use PayPal, maybe we’ll never get our money back.

OK, maybe we’ll give up on eBay. After all, pretty much everyone else already has.

Zappos

This online retailer began with shoes but these days we can find almost everything we need to complete us. Not only can we browse through categories but if we’re feeling adventurous we can check out our options for Matching Sets. What woman hasn’t contemplated trying out two or three guys for size? What man hasn’t fantasized about a pair of matching dates? And of course Zappos isn’t orientation-biased; there are plenty of options available regardless of our sexual orientation or transient curiosity.

And under its Trending Dates section Zappos lets us know what sorts of dates are hot right now, so we can be sure of getting the very latest in date options. After all, who wants to be seen having dinner with last year’s date? Or a date of the wrong color?

Given Zappos famous try-and-return policy, this eCommerce giant offers a truly risk-free dating experience which is why we predict it will be very successful with the launch of Zappos Dating. We can even suggest a great marketing angle: “Do you Zappos you’ll find your true love here?”

Chewy

From the company best known for its wide range of pet foods and pet accoutrements, Chewy Dating offers something a little different from all the others. Our strongest attachments are often to our four-legged friends and so why should dating be limited to our own species?

Who among us doesn’t want to be welcomed unreservedly when we come home? Which one of us doesn’t want to look deep into adoring eyes? Surely we deserve the love only a special bond (and a flea collar) can give us?

And who hasn’t wanted a lover who’s always ready, whatever time of day or night it may be when the mood strikes us? A lover who won’t complain or sulk or withhold, but is always happy to accommodate our desires so long as there’s the promise of a special treat in their food bowl afterward.

But remember: dates like this aren’t just for Christmas, and there’s no returning them when they grow too big or start to hanker after their neighborhood buddies for some friends-with-benefits style casual hookups.

Some people may object that ordering dates online dehumanizes what ought to be special. That it interjects crass commercialism into matters of the heart. That we surely can’t regard compatibility and love in the same way we think of buying a power drill or a spice rack.

Which just goes to show how wrong some people can be.

So remember: Amazon Love. You saw it here first.

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