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It seems to be a trouble year for Flipkart. Amidst wuthering financials, and cut-throat competition, it is now renovating its portal to ease off customer experience. The company has recently rolled back its image search option and in-app peer-to-peer chat service Ping.

The ‘Ping’ feature will be replaced with ‘user-seller’ chat after 25th June. This will allow them to communicate directly with each other. This feature was already under pilot since April this year. However, ‘user-user’ chat option will not be available now.

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“This new feature will help users to chat with the sellers about their product related queries, prior to even buying the final product. The pilot which started with a limited set of sellers initially, will be expanded to more sellers in the due course of the project,” said Flipkart.

With image search, users could do an image-based search on Flipkart, while Ping allowed them to browse and share products with friends via in-app chat. The features were earlier launched on the basis of an in-house research. This research showed that the inability to shop collaboratively was the most prominent barrier for online shoppers. However, within 10 months, consumers interest dropped to a significant low level for both the products.

“We will, keeping in mind the consumer preference, discontinue Image Search, but will continue to support the ” Visually Similar” feature on the platform to make shopping easy and seamless,” said a Flipkart spokesman.

By the end of July, it will also begin piloting for ‘user-customercare’ chat feature.

The recent $3 Bn investment of Amazon in India has infused a sense of agitation in the ecommerce industry. The existing startups are already struggling to make their unit economics right. Flipkart, on the other hand, is getting trouble in raising funds. Also, it has been reported that Flipkart is shuffling its technology team and trying to revitalise its brand. Will Flipkart be able to save its collar?

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