Flipkart is replacing a social shopping feature that allowed customers to reach out to friends and family on its mobile app with 1 that now allows interaction between sellers and customers.
The effort was an outcome of Flipkart’s in-house research, which revealed that the inability to shop collaboratively was the number-one barrier for online shoppers. Ten months after launch, Flipkart pulled the plug from its in-app chat service Ping. Intended to make shopping a social activity, the social commerce feature allowed users to talk to each other in real time, helping make decisions on what to buy.
“After 25th June, 2016 users will not be able to chat with their friends or family on Ping but will be able to browse through their existing chats on the app,” according to a company statement. “Customers will continue to be able to share any messages or products through any social media platform of their choice,”
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Around the launch time last year, the company had claimed that 2.5 million users had downloaded Ping within 10 days of its launch. In a company statement, Flipkart said, “Users will not be able to chat with their family and friends on Ping but will be able to browse through their existing chats on the app after 25th June, 2016.”
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As a replacement for Ping, Flipkart said it has launched a pilot for ‘user to seller‘ chat and will soon begin ‘user to customer care‘ chat on its platform. The new feature will help users to chat with the sellers about their product related queries, prior to even buying the final product.
Along with the user-seller chat, Flipkart will also allow its users to interact with the customer care executives on a real-time basis, for any order, returns or refund related issue. This project will begin by the end of July.