Social commerce is the ‘in’ thing. While globally messaging apps are striving to become shopping apps as well, shopping apps are transforming into mini social networks where members can flaunt their buys, get recommendations, read reviews from trusted sources and share their favourite items.
Not wanting to lose out in this race, ecommerce giants are also finding ways and means to make your shopping a social experience. Flipkart’s Ping – an in-app chat feature that lets users make collective decisions and decide in real time on what to buy – is a move in that direction.
Optimized to work on slower 2G networks too, Ping lets friends message text, photos, emoticons, while dragging and dropping their chosen items from Flipkart directly into the chat app. One can also share their screen with friends, to make it a truly ‘social shopping’ experience.
Flipkart had rolled out a demo video too, on How to shop with Ping. The ecommerce brand wanted the feature to grow organically amongst Flipkart users and their social connections, hence Ping was launched as an invite-only feature initially.
Within 10 days of being launched on its app on the 25th of August, Ping clocked 2.5 million downloads. Chief product officer, Punit Soni had informed Livemint that about 600K customers had used Ping till then. The positive response then got Ping open to all.
Flipkart has now rolled out a mass campaign for Ping called #EveryoneOnFlipkart. A series of TVCs in regional languages have been conceptualized by Lowe Lintas. Stories have been weaved around friends gifting through Flipkart in real life situations. They are heard chatting on Ping as if they were shopping together at the mall, before arriving at a decision.
‘What will they gift Anu?’ features this would-be mother whose office colleagues are eager to gift her that special something. The ad film brings their Ping chats together as a song and dance routine – shoppingo…shoppingo go shopping with everyone.
‘What will be the epic wedding surprise?’ video sees Vikram’s friends deciding on Ping about their special gift for his wedding. They too break into a song and dance routine with the new jingle.
#EveryoneOnFlipkart extended the communication on social media with a task-driven contest. People had to complete tasks using the contest hashtag for a chance to win gift vouchers. One of the tasks involved adding witty dialogues to the scenes taken from the TVC, while another involved Dubsmash videos where users had to dubsmash to the new jingle.
— Flipkart (@Flipkart) November 26, 2015
— Kirti Basal (@kirtibasal) November 25, 2015
Chatting and shopping is the ‘in’ thing
The efficacy of Ping in boosting sales is a question only time can tell. But Flipkart is going all guns to have #EveryoneOnFlipkart. Making a song and dance of shopping on Flipkart sends out an easy message to the masses – shopping on Flipkart has become social with Ping, just like shopping with your friends at the mall.
And when you have a song and dance in your television ad, the social media buzz campaign cannot ignore Dubsmash, the new favourite after selfies. Read also: 5 Of The Quirkiest Dubsmash Campaigns From Indian Brands.
The social shopping space is covered. Snapdeal’s Shopo has a peer-to-peer chat functionality for social shopping. It allows buyers on Shopo to chat, share product images, share screens with their social connections. Quikr Nxt is the chat feature by online classifieds website Quikr that allows buyers and sellers to chat with each other without revealing numbers or email ids.
Flipkart’s Ping is a natural progression like all ecommerce companies trying to woo the emerging Indian online shopper by making her shopping experience as near to real life as possible. Ping might be extended to facilitate interaction between buyers and sellers on the platform too.