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Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.

Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.

The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.

The 2016 Pew Research Center's survey reveals that the usage of online dating sites by American adults increased from 9% in 2013, to 12% in 2015.

It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.

That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.