The Flipkart e-commerce app could be getting a whole lot smarter about the fashion interests of its users.
Punit Soni, Flipkart’s recently appointed chief product officer, today laid out an impressive vision for the app during a conversation with Rackspace futurist Robert Scoble at VentureBeat’s 2015 MobileBeat conference.
Flipkart’s mobile app already lets users take pictures of clothing they like and then bring up that clothing in order to buy it. Soni, who spent more than eight years at Google before joining Flipkart in March, thinks the company could go much further.
“Could we figure out based on anonymous photos what the trends are in terms of fashion?” Soni said. “Could we actually use that information to drive sales in a particular way? … We could probably start dictating or understanding fashion trends in ways that nobody could have done before.”
Should such a feature come to fruition, Flipkart could more strongly stand out in e-commerce, particularly on mobile. Flipkart sees 70 percent of its transactions coming from mobile devices, up from 15-20 percent last July, Soni said.
And Flipkart has been steadily taking on more capital to grow. Two months ago it raised $550 million at a $15 billion valuation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Flipkart has brought on people skilled in machine learning, which could help the company pull off such a feat, and possesses one of the largest repositories of data in India, Soni said.
“Data can be used in incredibly thoughtful ways,” he added.
On top of that, like some of the biggest Silicon Valley tech companies, Flipkart has been building its own tools to make the most of all that data.
“It’s not easy to rely on existing technologies and be able to scale the way we are doing,” Soni said.
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