India didn’t bother about online ordering or home delivery. They introduced it to us.
We didn’t even think Cash on Delivery was an option. They thought of those who bundle cash in kitchen dabbas or torn pockets, and made the option available.
As far as we knew, couriers took days to be delivered, sometimes even weeks if we did buy something online. They brought in overnight delivery and persuaded us to relax on our butts and shopped till our accounts ran dry.
Advertising industry shamelessly played Follow the Leader after their brilliant Ads created a revolution.
I didn’t really think that they are a big deal until I heard them interact with us lot at the Hard Rock Cafe Indiblogger meet that happened last week in an effort to introduce not just the team behind the revolution called Flipkart but also the everyday innovations they bring to the table like the latest Image Search.
Today they said, “This is not just technology. This is revolution.” And they are right.
I’m aware that I have used the word revolution many times, but it is merely to impress upon the impact Flipkart has created since its inception. Sure, there are several players in the field today and we do shop from every online app available today, but the question is, have they all faired equally and understood what we really need?
Flipkart bridged distance, not just between consumers and retailers, but also between people. The brand reminded you that you need to do whatever it takes to make sure your wife feels remembered and special on her birthday. On the other hand, we also found what we were missing – ease, comfort, options, timeliness, reasons to stay home, something to browse on during those monotonous hours at office, online retail therapy when you are stressed, ways to eliminate most relationship risk factors, and the list goes on.
Flipkart Image Search. What’s the point of Point, Shoot and Buy? This was the question that was nagging me ever since I saw the feature on the app. Lately I have been noticing that we have been getting quite lethargic. We are comfortable with watching videos as opposed reading articles. Some of us want to marry Siri because she just listens to us and does what she’s told, handsfree. We are obsessed with online everything because it makes life so much easier. I imagined, Image Search was another way of enabling a fellow human’s laziness to type for what he wants. Turns out, it’s not that simple. There are two categories of people: Fashionistas and people like me.
Every girl covets an outfit someone else is wearing. I don’t know about men, but for women, it is a programmed response. If you are a fashionista searching for something like the product in the picture below, you’d type – Floral, Sleeveless, Shift, Pleated, Biege, Dress. If you are a searcher who is stumped with all that fashion jargon, you’d type – Sleeveless, Dress, Cream, White, Flowers, Short.
Image search is an effort to help everyone find what they need in an easy way. We know how frustrating it is to describe a beautiful skirt Jennifer Aniston wore in an episode of Friends to our best friend, forget about a search engine with no soul. Imagine if you could just click a picture of any product you like and just search for similar ones on Flipkart. The feature doesn’t pull the exact match, rather generates a list of products that could match the category of the product you are looking for.
I did use the feature and discuss it with several groups. I am curious about how it really meets its purpose. Is it a conventional search feature in disguise, or is it actually an intuitive technology that will take the first leap towards making search sensational for the crowd? Consider this, you start with Point & Shoot. That’s alright. There’s an additional step which is not marketed, often forgotten as it is in the blind spot. The second step is to select the Category of products that the app uses to compile your list. Despite that, you get this list of similar products. Asking for an exact match is unfair at this point. I agree. Flipkart commented that they have just begun on a journey, and evolution will bring us towards something better everyday. However, if you really peel the layers of this coy onion, the innovation is not in search, but in creating a guise that keeps a customer on his toes.
Riddle me this, from a developer’s perspective, how could an online store claim to be developing a feature similar to ID techniques used by the elite three lettered agencies, when the global search giant has kept word of any work on such a revolutionary technology underwraps? What really is the resource and effort required for it? Has Flipkart really nailed it? Or is it just a makeover to spruce something that wasn’t doing well?
They have done some amazing things, yes. But is #FlipkartImageSearch amazing? It could just be a gimmick to add traction to their fashion vertical.
Indiblogger was fabulous as always hosting us with a Hell Yeah! welcome at Hard Rock Cafe. Needless to say, a cuppa is what you need at HRC with the band’s best music to shake you out of the morning jitters. It was a rocking atmosphere in there, even if it was 10 in the morning on a Saturday. I wonder what you’d do if you stumbled there after sundown…
— Shruti Suresh (@surishruti) August 1, 2015