Flipkart Launches Ping, an in-app Chat Service To Bring Social Online Shopping Experience
In real world, girls hop on shopping spree with friends. This activity is a fun one, believe me you, just like any other social gathering! However, when you shop online, it is a lonely experience, it’s just you and your head in front of the screen.
To over come this loneliness of online shopping, Flipkart has launched an in-app chat service called Ping to make the whole online shopping experience more social. Consumers can now chat, share images and then take a shopping decision all inside Flipkart shopping app. Flipkart’s new service Ping will now allow Flipkart to do all this in real time.
The decision making while ‘shopping’ is done in groups, and it was the major drawback of online shopping sites, which Flipkart has cleverly pointed and addressed, this move is for sure going to give Flipkart an upper hand over its competitors.
“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. “This will fundamentally change the way Flipkart works. A third party app often doesn’t allow such deep integration,” he added.
And no, you need not worry about using a chat service if you’re surviving on a 2G data plan. Peeyush Ranjan, CTO and Head of Engineering, Flipkart said, “Ping has been optimized for efficient results even on slow 2G networks. It will also support android wearables where user can read and reply to messages from their android watches. This is happening right here in India with Indians. This is the real Make in India for you.”
It is estimated that 40% of all online commerce in India happens through mobile, whereas in the US, under 20% users shop through mobile phones. In China, world’s largest mobile Internet market, one can book a taxi, shop for clothes or even transfer money through mobile messaging app WeChat. Indians might soon witness all such perks at the rate at which its mobile market is growing.
Punit further said, “The unique blend of messaging and shopping is a unique and first ever experience that one can now enjoy online at Flipkart!” It is surprising to see that through all these years, none of the e-commerce biggies thought of including this feature. There are some chat applications on a few e-commerce site, but those are only restricted for users to chat with customer service executives, Flipkart has gone a step ahead in letting friends chit chat over shopping.
Ping, which was built in just nine months by a 30-member team, is currently in its beta stage of development, and will be available to customers through an invite only model in the first phase. Selected users would get invites from Flipkart, and can send up to 10 invites. However, one can register on the app to enable the chat feature.
Shhhh… Here’s a gossip:
At the Bangalore launch event, in response to Snapdeal Chief Product Officer Anand Chandrasekaran’s recent comments on Flipkart that ‘the stakes are very high for something to be on Snapdeal’, Soni smiled and said, “It’s time we rise above taking such digs at each other. Anand is a great guy. I’m more than willing to share a drink with him and smooth it out.”