Flipkart discontinues image search service

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Published: June 22, 2016 6:23:33 AM

E-commerce major Flipkart has discontinued its image search feature on its platform along with its ping, that was primarily a chat facility. Flipkart cited minimal usage by its users as the reason for the discontinuation.

flipkart.comAccording to Flipkart, “The new features will help users to chat with the sellers about their product related queries, prior to even buying the final product. (Reuters)

E-commerce major Flipkart has discontinued its image search feature on its platform along with its ping, that was primarily a chat facility. Flipkart cited minimal usage by its users as the reason for the discontinuation.

Commenting on the development, a Flipkart spokesperson said, “We launched Image Search last year to create an innovative way for the users to search where they could upload a picture and find appropriate products on the platform. However, we observed much higher traction for Visually Similar search while many customers struggled with understanding how to upload an image to search. We will, thus, keeping in mind the consumer preference, discontinue Image Search, but will continue to support Visually Similar feature on the platform to make the shopping easy and seamless for the users.”

Instead, the company, has launched a user to seller chat feature and plans to pilot a ‘user to customer care’ chat from July this year. As part of this transition, the user-to-user chat will not be available, but customers will continue to be able to share any messages or products through any social media platform of their choice.

Paytm had introduced a similar feature in 2014 and it even allowed users to negotiate the price of the products with the sellers. Even Flipkart’s very own Myntra, which it acquired in —will continue to have the image search feature on its app.

According to Flipkart, “The new features 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. Along with the user-seller chat, Flipkart will also allow its users to interact with the customer care executives on a real-time basis.”

Talking to FE, founder of fashion portal Voonik, Sujayat Ali said, “Unlike many other players, we operate in the unbranded segment. We never gave any option to consumers to photograph the products and search, because we never believed that was a strong use case to be exploited. We only allowed sellers to upload their product images for a better search result.”

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