[Case Study] Solve the problem of Order Conversion of a very low converting segment on Shaadi.com

Kaushiki Bhattacharya
23 min readApr 21, 2022


I will approach this case by following the below order:

1. Clarification stage wherein I will share my understanding of Shaadi.com, how it functions and its business objectives or goals

2. Overview of all the user segments of Shaadi.com with a conversion rate lower than average, followed by prioritizing one particular user group that the company should aggressively focus on

3. Identification of the pain points of this prioritized user segment, and understanding why Shaadi.com currently fails to address them

4. The pain points are then prioritized based on certain parameters like their impact on the TG and on our business metrics, the presence of alternative solutions in the market (If no other competitor is currently addressing the problem, then it would give us an opportunity to achieve competitive advantage by coming up with solutions), whether we have enough resources in terms of manpower and technology to solve the identified problems etc.

5. Ideation of a few solutions that can address each of the prioritized pain-points

6. The solutions are again prioritized based on their feasibility and viability (We can use several frameworks for this exercise like the Kano model, RICE etc. However, I would use an effort vs. impact matrix)

7. Ideate test strategies and identify key success metrics to track

8. Ideate pricing strategies for the suggested solutions

9. Finally, I would design a theme-based roadmap to communicate the solutions to the stakeholders and achieve buy-in


i) My understanding of Shaadi.com- In the simplest sense, Shaadi.com is a social networking application that helps the user find himself/ herself a life partner based on his/ her preferences. Not only does the application offer a highly user-friendly interface that allows users to embark upon the otherwise intimidating journey of searching for their better halves online, but also the amount of attention that is given to maintaining the authenticity of the displayed data and to the users’ privacy has helped the organization earn credibility and trust over the years. Additionally, the features available on the app are perfectly aligned with what today’s generation is comfortable with (For example: In-app chat functionality, video calling feature, easy-to-save filter options, flexible subscription plans etc.), thus making their overall experience more enjoyable and hassle-free

ii) What does conversion rate mean here? — In terms of the given problem statement, the conversion rate for Shaadi.com can be defined as the percentage of the total number of existing users (i.e., with a Shaadi.com account) who use paid features/ services. Or in other words, converting a user means getting him to pay for at least one feature

iii) What is the business objective or goal behind this case study? — As per the given problem statement, there is a significant section of the organization’s target segment that has a lower than average conversion rate. Hence, we can affix the goal as to improve the conversion rate of this segment by 20% within the next 6 months by strategizing engagement and retention strategies.

iv) Does this specific segment belong to a particular part of India?

Assumption: Since nothing is mentioned, I would assume that the low conversion rate is observed pan-India for the particular user segment

v) Has the poor conversion rate been observed on the mobile app or on the website app?

Assumption: Since nothing is mentioned, I would assume that the low conversion rate has been observed on the mobile app which is the majorly used medium


The size of the specific segment which is not converting might be large, spanning across several age groups. Hence it is important to break the segment down into narrower audiences and target the one that will provide the highest impact on our key metrics and simultaneously will receive maximum benefits from the suggested features

1. User segments of Shaadi.com with low conversion rates:

i) Millennials and Gen-Z →

- Recent college graduates, mostly girls, who might want to get married and settle down. However, due to a lack of urgency, they/ their families would not want to buy paid services

- Blue collared young professionals, who might not be willing to buy a paid service due to lack of enough money or because they are not that tech-savvy and are therefore unable to realize the true value of being a paid user. Since it is mentioned in the case study that even offering pocket-friendly monthly plans or heavy discounts did not make any difference, we can rule out the first cause and can focus on the second one (Not able to comprehend the benefits one can receive from Shaadi.com as an unpaid and as a paid user)

- White-collared young professionals, who might not use paid services on Shaadi.com because they are on competitor match-making/ dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Jeevansaathi.com etc. wherein they are getting better deals

ii) Boomers and Senior Citizens → This would be a much smaller segment comprising of single parents or elderly widowed people looking for companionship

2. Prioritizing one segment to target:

I think the segment of blue-collared young professionals should be prioritized for improving the in-app conversion rate since there is a huge untapped potential there. Given the high penetration rate of android phones, thanks to low prices, almost every Indian- irrespective of which income bracket they fall under- can afford a smartphone and can simultaneously download and use all the apps that are available in the play store. What needs to be optimized is the first-mile user experience or the onboarding journey for such users, so that they reach the AHA moment quickly, and consequently understand the true value proposition of the app and how becoming a paid user can enrich that experience 10x times

3. User Persona of this segment:

Representing this segment through a simple user persona will allow us to understand our target segment in detail in terms of their needs and behaviour, thereby resulting in more user-focused solutions.

User Persona of the TG

4. User Journey on the app:

- Download and install the Shaadi.com app

- Set up an account

- Select a profile picture

- Enter personal details

- Enter details about family

- Set up preferences to get matches

- Go through the profiles of the displayed matches and identify the common points with each of them

- Click on “Connect Now” upon coming across interesting profiles


i) Lack of tech-savviness: This might be the primary reason why this specific segment of users is not converting. Given their already hectic schedules trying to make their ends meet on a day-to-day basis, most of the users of this segment only have small pockets of free time every day, which is too short for them to navigate to the FAQs page and learn about all the in-app features (both free and paid) and the benefits that they would receive from them. The onboarding journey being available only in English is another reason why such users might not be comfortable using the app in the first place

ii) Discomfort with social networking sites. Inability to initiate or continue a conversation with strangers due to their shy and unarticulated nature: One distinct disadvantage of users like Nitish is their general shyness on social media platforms. Unlike the white-collared users, this section of the society is less exposed to the online world comprising of Facebook, Instagram, Tinder etc., due to which they are unaware of the methods to start and continue a conversation with a random stranger on the internet, especially when the stakes are this high (i.e. finding a life partner). The overall experience can be daunting for them, which urges them to stay away from the app

iii) Families of both the bride and the groom play very important roles in successful marriage agreements: Most of the blue collared users come from traditional, old-fashioned families living in villages/ small towns, where the final say of the family members is very important for the marriages to occur (Families are major influencers in the decision-making process for our target segment). Parents of users like Nitish have their very own list of criteria that they would want in their daughters-in-law, and it is very important that they feel involved at each step of the search process. Given their total averseness to the digital world, they might be discouraging this user segment from using an app like Shaadi.com to take such a major life decision, and would instead convince them to go the offline way through friends and relatives

iv) Too many daily matches might overwhelm such users, most of which they would find to be irrelevant: Although having a good number of matches based on personal partner preferences is important (it increases the chances of finding a life partner), it might sometimes be overwhelming for someone like Nitish, who would not find the time to go through the profiles of each and every match and assess their relevance. Additionally, given his lack of experience on online platforms, Nitish might not even know which filters to apply to narrow down the search data to extract more relevant matches. All these factors might lead to him missing out on potential prospects who would have been a perfect match for him


The above pain points can be prioritized based on the following parameters:

i) The severity of impact on the users, i.e. how big a hindrance is the specific pain point in the path to a seamless user experience for the target segment

ii) Whether the goal achieved by solving the particular pain point will be aligned with the greater goal of the product enhancement, i.e. improving the conversion rate of the TG

iii) If the company has enough resources to invest in providing a solution to the problem

iv) Availability of alternatives to the existing problem is also an important factor that one needs to keep in mind while prioritizing

Keeping the above points in mind, I have prioritized the needs of the TG as below:

Prioritization of the pain-points


Problem 1: Usability problems arising due to lack of tech-savviness

Solution 1: A smooth user-onboarding process with a lot of hand-holding and guidance at each step will lead Nitish to his AHA moment (Finding a relevant match) with minimum effort:

  • Option to select the preferred in-app language on the landing page → Although there are several matrimony sites available within Shaadi.com based on the user’s mother tongue, the UI still remains in English. Keeping users like Nitish in mind, there should be a language selection option on the landing page of the site, which will enhance the comfort and understanding levels of the user while using the app
  • Interactive product tour and walkthroughs in his preferred language → A product tour/ interactive walkthrough in one’s mother tongue (right when the user logs onto the platform) will not only familiarize the user with all the features of Shaadi.com, but it will also reduce his time to value. These interactive product tours should not just highlight the features in a random fashion, but they should showcase the entire user journey on the app (Right to the point when he finds a suitable partner) and the benefit that he will receive from each in-app feature at every stage of the user journey. The features should be marked as “Free Service” or “Paid Service” with the corresponding benefits displayed one below the other, so that it is easier for the user to assess how important that specific feature is for him and whether paying money to avail of the service would be worthwhile. This would lead to higher conversions (Wireframes below)
Wireframe for Interactive Product Walkthrough
Wireframe for Interactive Product Walkthrough

Solution 2: Voice Controlled Form Fill and Chat Option (This can be part of the MVP onboarding journey based on prioritization) → Users like Nitish are not very skilful when it comes to typing into text fields- irrespective of the language- due to their lack of exposure to online keyboards. They not only end up taking a lot of time while completing a simple task but also make a lot of spelling mistakes while filling up the form or even while chatting. This issue can be handled via voice-command controlled form filling and chat options, driven by speech-to-text and Natural Language Understanding technologies. This feature should also understand colloquial commands and location-specific accents since most of our TG hails from remote villages

Solution 3: Smart Assist to build a personalized profile (This can be part of the MVP onboarding journey based on prioritization) → Currently, the profiles of each user on Shaadi.com consist of the standard information like personal details, education details, family details, lifestyle choices etc. in a very informative fashion. The personalization levels of the profiles can be taken a notch higher through a feature like “Smart Assist”, which first understands the user and then helps him represent himself through his profile in a more fun way. Someone like Nitish, with limited education levels, might prefer going through video or audio prompts that explain the personality of a potential prospect than having to go through her profile details and bio line by line.

How would Smart Assist work?

- Users will be provided with the “Smart Assist” option during their onboarding journey

- This feature will first capture all the basic details of the user like personal details, education details, family details, income details etc.

- Next, the user would be taken to a “Personality Assessment” page, wherein he would be displayed a questionnaire containing questions spanning several topics like the kind person that he is (Adventure seeker, Family Oriented), His zodiac, Things that he is most passionate about, The kind of movies and music that he likes and so on. Each question should have pre-populated dropdowns and an input field marked as “Others”, and Nitish can either select one of the available options or enter an answer of his own. Basis his answers, Smart Assist will create a separate “Personality Profile” for Nitish, and he would be shown song/ movie title suggestions that best describe his personality, which he can choose to add to this profile

- Once the user’s personality is assessed by Smart Assist (For example, suppose Nitish’s personality is Responsible), the feature should evaluate the current profile picture of the user and understand whether it correctly captures the true personality of the user. If not, it can suggest the same (For example, in the case of Nitish, Smart Assist can suggest he put up a picture of him teaching his students which would perfectly align with his true nature)

- This “Personality Profile” should also have an option called “A day in your life” powered by video recording technology, using which he can record what a normal day looks like at his workplace and at home taking care of his parents. This would consequently increase the chances of matches

Problem 2: Discomfort on Social Networking sites, unable to initiate conversations:

Solution 1: “Break the Ice” feature that creates customizable ready-made messages based on mutual interest → After matching with someone and clicking on “Connect Now”, followed by the user at the other end accepting his connection request, it might be difficult for social media shy users like Nitish to start a conversation. They would be apprehensive in taking the first step, and this might lead to missed opportunities at connecting with prospective life partners. We can design an AI-powered feature called “Break the Ice”, which would study the mutual interests of the two users, and create customizable messages that would help in beginning a conversation. This feature can also help users like Nitish to keep the conversation going by suggesting replies to incoming messages and emojis (For example: Such users might not always know what certain emojis or abbreviations mean, this is when he can ask this feature to interpret its meaning and suggest replies)

Solution 2: “Plan a Date” feature → Once Nitish is comfortable with a prospect, he can use this service to get to know her in detail

How “Plan a Date” service will work?

- Nitish can send a “Date” request to the prospect

- If accepted, both the users will need to enter their preferences (Like their availability, budget, where they would want to go such as a movie date/ restaurant etc.)

- Based on this input data, the planner will chalk out feasible timings, affordable places to dine at, movie dates and so on as per the users’ requests. In addition to the input data, this planner would also take into consideration the personality profiles of each user while coming up with suggestions

- There can be other features available within this service like Memory Creator (A collage maker of photos taken by the users on their date), an in-app music player etc.

Problem 3: Lack of transparency for the respective families during the match-making process:

Solution 1: Add an extra field- “Enter your parent/ guardian’s contact number”- during the user registration process → A field during the onboarding process wherein users can enter their parents’ numbers as well, in addition to their own. Each time the user connects with someone and starts a conversation, an SMS or a WhatsApp notification will be sent to the parents’ numbers. Additionally, the parents of the user will also receive a link using which they can initiate a call with the parents of the prospects, in case the user gives the go-ahead. This way, even the families will feel involved

Solution 2: Providing enough social proof in the form of customer testimonials to convince old-fashioned family members → Again, using SMS or WhatsApp channels, the Shaadi.com app can send customer testimonial links to the parents, and this process can be initiated by Nitish himself if he is convinced with the app and wants his parents to come on board as well. These testimonials should be personable and designed in the language chosen by the user within the app. Nitish should also have the option to send success stories of customers belonging to a specific location (for example, his neighbourhood or locality). Once his parents see that even families like them are able to successfully find life partners for their sons/ daughters by using this app, they would be more willing to try it out themselves

Problem 4: Overwhelmed by a large number of daily matches:

Solution 1: “Summary” box against each chat with connections → Say Nitish has 10 matches today, and he connects with 5 of them. Out of these 5, he might be able to build a rapport with only 3 of them. However, tomorrow he might have 10 new matches and this will result in him forgetting the chat he had had with the 3 matches the previous day. Or worse, he would have to open each chat window and start reading the conversation right from the beginning, so that he can pick up the conversation from where he left. This is not only cumbersome but also frustrating, especially for users like him. To tackle this issue, there can be a small “Summary” box against each match, which would highlight the main topics of the conversation as points. In case Nitish wants to get more details, all he has to do is click on any of these points, which would take him to that specific part of the conversation. Of course, this in-app feature would require the permission of the user to go through the chats.

Solution 2: “Compatibility” scale against each chat with connections → Once Nitish completes a chat session with any of his matches, a pop-up can appear, wherein he would be asked to rate his match based on compatibility- say out of 1–5 (5 being the highest). So, if he conversed with 3 matches today, and he rated them as 3,4 and 5 respectively, then the next day he can continue his conversation with the one whom he had given the highest score. This would again eliminate the need for him to open each window and go through the chats from the start. This will also train the ML-powered match recommendation engine to identify the kind of people that Nitish is the most compatible with, and this will lead to more relevant match suggestions

Solution 3: Gamification features to nudge users toward availing paid services → For example, we can introduce a graph that shows the number of relevant matches (with a compatibility score of more than 3) vs the total number of matches suggested by the app to Nitish over a certain time period. Showing data usually goes a long way in earning the trust of users. Given the profile of users like Nitish, instead of showing too many numbers, this data should be displayed using colourful, easy to decipher smiley face charts (example). A “Boost Now” CTA can also be designed here which will redirect the user to the premium plans section.

Gamification Features


Action Priority Matrix:

Action Priority Matrix

As per the effort vs impact analysis, the following are the problem-solution sets that should be prioritized for the MVP. The “Should Haves” can be taken up in the next sprint followed by the “Could Haves” after analyzing their feasibility.

Problem 1: Usability problems arising due to lack of tech-savviness

Solution 1: A smooth user-onboarding process through features like multiple language selection options, interactive product walkthroughs and tool-tips

Solution 2: Voice Controlled Form Fill and Chat Option

Problem 2: Discomfort with social networking sites

Solution: “Break the Ice” feature that creates customizable ready-made messages based on mutual interests

Problem 3: Lack of involvement of the respective families in the match-making process

Solution: Adding an extra field- “Enter your parent/ guardian’s contact number”- during the user registration process, in order to keep the parents updated

Problem 4: Overwhelmed by the number of daily matches

Solution 1: “Summary” box against each chat with connections

Solution 2: “Compatibility” scale against each chat with connections


1. Test strategies:

I would perform tests at five levels, two prior to the feature launch and three post-launch:

i) Firstly, I would test the concept behind each of the ideated features through high-fidelity clickable prototypes and run them by all the internal stakeholders like the development team, legal team, operations team and so on, which in turn will help clarify the feasibility and viability of each of these suggestions

ii) Once the concepts are clarified and the features are built, prior to the launch, it is important to not only check whether the functional performance of the features satisfies the acceptance criteria but also if the features are usable and easy to understand. This is done by running several rounds of Usability Tests (performed with a few real users) and UAT, and the feature should be made live only once signoff is received from both. Till now the feature has not yet reached the hands of the mass target segment, but before that happens, it is critical that the feature provides a streamlined UX and simultaneously works without any glitch or error.

iii) Once the UAT signoff is received and the features are deemed to be user-friendly design-wise, the feature can be launched to a select number of users of the TG (Usually early adopters) as part of beta testing, with a close feedback loop in place. This will provide us with real data in the form of user feedback and we can also track the organic adoption rate and other engagement metrics for each feature.

iv) Once the feature is rolled out to the mass audience, constant feedback would be collected from the users through comprehensive in-app feedback sections, NPS and CSAT surveys for each feature etc.

v) I would also conduct continuous A/B tests for each of the implemented features in order to keep the corresponding UI/UX journeys optimized. For example, we can design two versions of the user journey for the “Compatibility Scale” feature and launch them between 2 groups of the TG. For the first one, the scale can be displayed to the user after the first chat session, and for the second one, it can be displayed after the third chat session. We need to track how many of the users who gave a high compatibility score after the first chat session went on to have prolonged conversations with the prospect vs those who rated after the third chat session. Based on the numbers, we can decide at which point it would be most beneficial to display this scale to the user

2. Key Success Metrics to track:

I will be tracking 1 north star metric and a few L1 metrics (Distributed across each stage of the customer’s journey on the app) to evaluate the impact of the suggested features:

i) North Star Metric (Adoption Metrics):

- Number of paid customers of Shaadi.com (i.e. who use at least one of the paid features) whose annual income is less than 2LPA measured on a week-on-week basis

- Number of active users (‘Active’ here means users who connect with their suggested matches and either chat on the app for more than at least 3 days or move onto one of the connected platforms like WhatsApp to get to know each other better) within the bracket of users whose annual income is less than 2LPA measured as DAU, WAU or MAU

ii) L1 Metrics:

I would be measuring all the L1 metrics for users who belong to the income bracket of 2LPA or less, and the measurement would be performed on a week-on-week basis

- Engagement Metrics →

As engagement metrics, I would measure the number of active users at a feature-specific level (i.e. WAU of each suggested feature)

a) Number of users who used the Multiple Language selection options on the landing page to set the app UI to their native language

b) Number of users who completed all the steps of the interactive walkthrough

c) Number of users who paid for the voice-command controlled features individually vs the number of users who bought the solutions as a bundled product

d) Number of personality profiles created using the Smart Assist feature

e) Number of conversions from the free to the paid version of the “Break the Ice” service

f) Number of dates planned within the app by using the “Plan a Date” feature vs the number of dates successfully executed

g) Percentage of the total number of testimonial links sent to the parents of the user that are clicked on and opened

h) Number of users who pay for the “Summary” box and the “Compatibility Scale” features

i) Percentage of the total number of suggested matches that the user connects with and Percentage of the total users of the “Compatibility Scale” who rate their connections a score above 3 post chatting (This would help us understand the relevancy of the suggested matches)

j) Average session length of each user on the app

- Revenue Metrics →

a) Average revenue per paying user (ARPU)

b) Customer Acquisition Cost (Including marketing and manufacturing costs) vs Customer Lifetime Value (CAC vs CLTV)

c) Number of Transactions (or the Number of services bought) per user

d) Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) derived from this segment of users

- Retention Metrics →

a) Number of repeat users of each suggested feature (Both paid and non-paid)

- Product Performance Metricsà

a) Number of support calls placed or number of tickets raised

b) Number of app crashes reported per week

- User Metrics →

a) NPS of the overall Shaadi.com app rated by this specific segment of users

b) NPS for each suggested feature

c) Customer Satisfaction Score for each suggested feature


Although I have prioritized only 6 of the suggested 10 solutions for the MVP, I will ideate pricing strategies for all the above 10 solutions. Some of these features should be available for free in order to get the user hooked on to the app, which will in turn nudge him to pay for the other services to enhance his experience. To come up with the correct pricing strategy for the suggested features, certain parameters like the severity of the problem that they are solving, cost and effort involved, presence of similar offerings in the market by other competitors etc. need to be considered.

Feature 1: Multiple language selection options, interactive product walkthroughs and tool tips: These features should be available for free to the user, as they are critical in providing a streamlined onboarding experience and in helping the users become familiar with the UI. Only if the users are aware of all the features of the app and the benefits that they will derive from each of them, would they be willing to try out the paid services

Feature 2: Voice Controlled Form Fill and Chat Option

The voice-controlled form filling feature can be considered a one-time usage feature that users might avail of during the registration process, and given the fact that this development requires considerably high effort, it should follow a cost-plus pricing strategy based on the overall development cost. The voice-controlled chat option should be available at a premium price. Users can also choose to avail of both these features as a bundle at a single, discounted price

Feature 3: Smart Assist to build a personalized profile

Building this feature is a major project, as it requires AI/ ML technology to accurately analyze the user’s unique personality traits and accordingly help him create his profile. Also, for users like Nitish, this otherwise complicated feature needs to be designed with high usability and convenience. Therefore, it involves a lot of effort to be put in by both the design and the development teams, which is why I believe it should follow premium pricing

Feature 4: “Break the Ice” feature that creates customizable ready-made messages based on mutual interests

This feature serves three purposes: It helps users like Nitish initiate conversations, it guides him to continue the conversation by suggesting replies to messages and it also interprets the meaning of emojis that he might not be familiar with. I would suggest a freemium approach in pricing the “Break the Ice” feature. Users can use the feature to initiate conversations for free, and if they are satisfied with the service, they can pay to enjoy the other two benefits

Feature 5: “Plan a Date” feature

Given the high level of effort needed to design this feature, ideally, this should be priced at a premium amount. However, there is some confusion regarding the adoption of this feature, since it does not address a very critical pain point of the user and there are several other alternative channels to plan a date. Therefore, a price skimming approach would work here, wherein the feature can be launched at a high price by taking into consideration the developmental and design efforts, but over time, basis the adoption rate, the price can be lowered if required

Feature 6: Adding an extra field- “Enter your parent/ guardian’s contact number”- during the user registration process, in order to keep the parents updated

Since the corresponding developmental and design efforts are low, this field should be made available to the user for free

Feature 7: Providing enough social proof in the form of testimonials of local/neighbourhood users or users belonging to the same income bracket to convince old-fashioned family members

In order to win over the old-fashioned families of the TG, it is important to design testimonials in easy-to-understand formats, and the stories should come from relatable families. Additionally, the user can choose to send these testimonials in various formats, such as a video, or in an audio format, based on what his parents are familiar with. The level of flexibility in availing this option makes it a perfect choice for ala carte pricing, wherein the user himself can choose the type of testimonials that he would want to send to his parents and pay for each of the individual links

Feature 8: “Summary” box against each chat with connections

Implementing this feature requires significant investments in terms of manpower and technology, and it also needs to acquire legal clearances since the feature’s workflow involves going through the users’ chats, basis of which it can provide a summary. All these factors would justify pricing this feature at a premium amount

Feature 9: “Compatibility” scale against each chat with connections

We can apply a freemium approach here, wherein the user can set his compatibility score for at most 3 prospects based on their chats, and if he gains benefits from the compatibility scores that are on display against each chat window (In the form of better tracking), then he can pay for continued service. However, given that this implementation requires very small effort, it can be priced at a market penetrative rate

Feature 10: Gamification features to nudge users toward availing paid services

This can be available for free


The ideated strategies to handle each pain point of the user need to be shared with the stakeholders in an organized manner. This can be done by using theme-based roadmaps

Product Roadmap



Kaushiki Bhattacharya

Product Manager & CSPO| Product Enthusiast| MBA, NMIMS Mumbai '21| Casual Writer