Jain , The Economic Times
Delhi, 11 August 2015
increasingly app-only online marketplaces are promising richer
shopping experience when 4G, the mobile telecom technology that
offers quick data downloads, gains more traction. Flipkart, Snapdeal
and Myntra will load streaming video content and visual search
feature to help shoppers select products, said top executives
at these companies. Flipkart, in fact, already launched a visual
Fourth-generation, or 4G, telecom technology allows downloads
several times faster than 3G and 2G, the more common technologies.
Bharti Airtel, which recently launched 4G in nearly 300 towns,
says its service allows users to download a movie in three minutes.
For ecommerce companies, this means they can offer richer features,
for instance the video of a model doing the ramp showcasing the
latest fashion collections, on their website to entice buyers.
With Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom unit of Reliance Industries,
set to launch 4G later this year and others like Vodafone India,
Idea Cellular and Aircel also expected to jump into the bandwagon,
adoption of 4G is expected to see a spike.
"4G is ridiculously faster than what is available now. The
kind of experience you can deliver on 4G will be amazingly better
than what one could experience on a Wi-Fi or a desktop today,"
said Shamik Sharma, chief technology and product officer at fashion
retailer Myntra. "And, if you can envision that world and
you can build for it, you can delight your customers."
Punit Soni, chief product officer at Flipkart, said once 4G is
adopted at a mass level, there will be a lot of evolution on visual
search and video will start playing an important role. "When
we know we are in a 4G-like environment, we would probably start
exposing our users to a lot more video streaming and video based
experience," he said.
Flipkart recently launched a visual search feature. If you like
the dress or footwear that someone is wearing, you can take a
photo and upload it on the site. The visual search feature will
do the search and come up with similar products on offer.
Anand Chandrasekaran, a former Airtel executive who is now chief
product officer at Snapdeal, expects videos playing an extremely
important role in shopping in the 4G scenario. "If you take
a model like Exclusively.com, looking at a luxury dress designed
by a world-class designer, I would probably want to see a video
of a super model walking down the ramp wearing those. So I think
there are a lot of use cases where video can start playing an
important role once 4G gets a nationwide presence," he said.
Devangshu Dutta, chief executive at retail consultancy firm
Third Eyesight, said when it comes to browsing and enriching the
view of the product, especially like 3D imaging and virtual draping
of fashion products, there is a need for significantly better
connectivity than what we have today. 4G can help solve this issue.
(Published in The