Flipkart has decided to scrap its peer-to-peer chat service and replace it with ‘user to seller’ chat. Previously Ping allowed users to browse for products and share them with peers. This element is an effort to improve social interaction. The service is currently being employed by other major e-commerce players like Olx.
The Bengaluru-based company has also decided to discontinue its image search feature that allowed users to browse for similar products by uploading images on the site.
A Flipkart spokesperson was quoted saying, “Flipkart will be pivoting its user to use chat- Ping by launching the pilot for ‘user to seller chat’ and ‘user to customer care’ chat.” The company has been under immense pressure to fend off competition from global giants like Amazon. The latter has recently announced an additional $3 billion investment in India, to their existing $2 billion establishment. There is also an imminent threat from the Chinese e-giant Alibaba, who has time and again shown intent to enter the Indian market. Under such circumstances, Flipkart has to make sure that it maintains the foothold in the market. This move is aimed at providing transparency and better quality service to help do exactly that.
The new feature will allow users to resolve not only their product related queries but also about the delivery schedule before they place the order. The pilot has started with a limited number of sellers but is said to expand soon.
Flipkart announced that it is also starting a pilot to allow users interact with customer care executives on a real-time basis regarding any order, returns or refund related issues. This service is likely to begin by the end of July. These changes come in time with Amazon’s massive investment and it looks like the company is trying to fight money with strategy.