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Flipkart collaborates with IIT Delhi on social commerce research

Social commerce, product suggestions to sellers, resellers, and the consumer product exploration process will all be investigated as part of the project

Flipkart collaborates with IIT Delhi on social commerce research

As part of its ongoing Industry-academia collaboration programme, Walmart-backed e-commerce giant Flipkart announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), the industry interface organisation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D).

The study will look into social commerce, product recommendations for sellers and resellers, as well as the consumer product exploration journey.

Flipkart will provide research grants and market insights to FITT as part of the study. Flipkart stated in a statement that this will allow IIT and the academia involved in the relationship to collaborate closely on research initiatives aimed at solving significant technical difficulties in the e-commerce space.

Flipkart and FITT will also collaborate on a variety of other projects, including hosting seminars, providing conference travel funds, and providing internship and mentorship possibilities. Flipkart's academic collaboration programme, which company has been fostering for the past five years, will be strengthened by this MoU.

These collaborations aim to produce industry-focused applied research on some of online commerce's most compelling problem statements, with the goal of making e-commerce more accessible to both consumers and merchants.

According to a Recogn analysis published in November 2021, India is expected to have 228 million native customers using social commerce by the end of 2022, up 45 percent from the user base in 2021. This involves research and awareness of how the future generation of consumers will interact with e-commerce via social media, as well as learning about user contributions to product suggestions.

"As an organisation committed to solving for India, we have developed numerous industry-first capabilities over the years and continue to push the boundaries to bring customer delight and create shared value for the ecosystem partners. In this endeavour, we are pleased to partner with IIT Delhi to co-develop capabilities that play a pivotal role in revolutionising the future of social commerce. This will also provide an opportunity to the students, scholars and professors to gain real-world expertise and build innovative solutions that lead to ecosystem development," Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist at Flipkart, said.

Flipkart stated that it is committed to the long-term improvement of Indian institutions and the promotion of cooperation through effective academic research linked with industry demands in order to develop India-specific solutions. It has previously formed academic agreements with prestigious institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), IIIT Hyderabad, IITs (Kharagpur, Patna, Bombay, and Kanpur), and IIMs (Kharagpur, Patna, Bombay, and Kanpur) (Ahmedabad and Kolkata). Flipkart also collaborates with a few international institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Diego.

"FITT engages with industry to strengthen research translation and knowledge transfer for socio-economic empowerment. In this context, we are pleased to partner with Flipkart, a homegrown e-commerce marketplace to explore open innovation opportunities towards creating valuable business solutions for millions of customers," Anil Wali, Managing Director, FITT said in a statement.

Fashion recommendation, query understanding, attribute extraction, demand planning, product categorization, review helpfulness, supply chain management (e.g., warehouse storage allocation), fraud detection, and machine translation have all been developed as a result of collaborative research projects. According to an official release, several research publications on ML/AI applications such as information retrieval (IR), knowledge discovery, data mining, and natural language processing (NLP) have been published as a result of the project.

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