Flipkart’s Ping to allow you to seek opinion before shopping!

Flipkart’s Ping to allow you to seek opinion before shopping!

If you are one of those buyers who would like to seek multiple reviews before shopping online, you might be elated at this news!

E-commerce giant Flipkart has just launched Ping (an invite only app), a new feature in its mobile app that allows users to chat with their friends while shopping thus creating a more social shopping experience. Ping underlines the strong mobile centric-approach that Flipkart has taken in recent times. With this move, the seven-year-old startup is attempting to make online shopping a more social affair.

“Shopping is primarily a social activity and going for it with friends and family has been the norm since time immemorial. Online shopping, on the other hand, has largely remained a solo experience. Ping aims to transform online shopping by allowing users to talk to each other in real-time in order to make decisions and decide on what to buy,” said Flipkart’s chief product officer, Punit Soni.

How it work

Within Ping, people can message friends using text, photos, and emoticons. Users can drag and drop products from Flipkart directly into a conversation in the social network. Shoppers can then share the screen with friends to browse together and make a purchase decision.

Additionally, if a user sends a ‘Ping’ from the Flipkart app to a friend who does not have the app, that friend will get an SMS link to download it. Once they do so, it will open straight to the ‘Ping’ sent by their friend and not on the Flipkart app homepage as it usually happens when one downloads an app via a link.

Built for Indian users

Flipkart CTO Peeyush Ranjan said that Ping “has been optimized for efficient results even on slow 2G networks,” making it accessible in parts of India where people don’t have 3G or 4G, or where people predominantly use cheaper smartphones. Ping will also support Android smartwatches for viewing messages and doing quick replies.

Flipkart’s Mobile First Policy

The messaging feature is the latest in a string of new things that Flipkart has injected into its mobile apps. Flipkart has added an image search feature that allows users to upload an image of a product they are looking for and receive what the algorithm believes are relevant findings.

E-commerce companies are increasingly moving beyond the discount-led customer retention strategy and are trying to engage customers on their platforms through a content and community-driven approach. A social bent helps increase customer interaction.

The speculations regarding Flipkart going app-only soon are still unclear. Whether Flipkart ditches desktop or not, it is clear that major innovations in the product will be focused at mobile level for now. The company is also planning to introduce the option of buyers interacting with the sellers.

Over 41 per cent of Indian e-commerce comes from mobile, which is the highest in the world. Flipkart says it has 50 million registered users and that it has the highest user engagement at 59 minutes. Flipkart expects the chat feature and the recently introduced Image Search feature will help increase the time and prompt users to shop more often.

So next time if you want to buy that dress online on Flipkart, you can ask for your stylish friend’s opinion first.

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