Flipkart introduces chat feature on app with Ping

Users will be able to chat and share images and emoticons with friends who also use Ping, and decide on what to buy

New Delhi: India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart Ltd on Tuesday introduced Ping, an invite-only messaging platform, within its smartphone app.

Flipkart Ping users will be able to chat with friends and family members who also use Ping and share images and emoticons.

“While shopping offline, customers have always been creating a validation by taking suggestions from their family and friends. 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 real time in order to make decisions and decide on what to buy," said Punit Soni, chief product officer, Flipkart.

Soni also said that the company may introduce the option of buyers interacting with the sellers.

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 stickiness.

According to Soni, on an average, a Flipkart customer spends close to 59 minutes per month on its platform.

He expects the chat feature and the recently introduced Image Search feature to help increase the time and prompt users to shop more often.