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Flipkart goes Ping to redefine e-commerce
Aug '15
E-commerce major Flipkart has just launched Ping, a new feature in its mobile app that lets users share product images and chat with each other while shopping and create a more social shopping experience. Ping underlines the strong mobile centric-approach that Flipkart has taken in recent times to redefine e-commerce.

The move was prompted by research that indicated that a customer's identity was strongly related to their mobile number, and that their inability to shop collaboratively was the major barrier for online shopping, Flipkart said in a statement.

Online shopping, on the other hand, has largely remained a solo experience, said Flipkart's Chief Product Officer, Punit Soni, adding that Ping brings a unique blend of messaging and shopping for the first time. "Ping aims to transform online shopping by allowing users to talk to each other real time in order to make decisions and decide on what to buy," he said.

Currently, Ping chat is invite-only, but Soni, who joined the company this March from Google, said this was just to gauge initial response. The feature has been rolled out to the Flipkart apps for Android and iOS,

Ping will let users share pictures of a product, links to a product page, and even the entire screen from within the Flipkart mobile app with their friends. On Ping, a user can start a group chat with a select group of friends and they can reply and add inputs on what the user should buy.

Soni also stressed that the Ping feature in the app has been optimised for slower networks, and that it will consume less data and battery life on smartphones as well. “We don't want to add a feature that will send bills through the roof for customers. We've ensured that Ping supports older Android devices as well,” he added.

Soni refused to comment on speculations about Flipkart going app-only soon, but said that Ping will remain a mobile-only feature. Recent reports have indicated that Flipkart has pushed back its plans to go app-only. Whether Flipkart dumps the desktop or not, it is clear that major innovations in the product will be focused on mobile devices now. (SH)


Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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