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Has Adding ‘Hindi’ Interface Become a Way to Seize Indian Consumers?

- Considering the Indian consumer market a booming niche, e-tailers viz. Amazon and Flipkart are infusing capital, as well as technology, in it.
BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
Sep 04,2019

The Indian consumer market has become highly adaptive after the coming of the Internet. With the arrival of the Internet, ascertaining things, places and accessing knowledge have become easier. This, in turn, has not only increased internet users but also surged mobile internet users, social network users and digital buyers in India.

According to database company, Statista, Retail e-commerce sales in India amounted to about $16 billion that year and are projected to surpass $45 billion in 2021. Mobile shopping has gained space in the country as well. About 49 percent of Indian consumers stated using their mobiles for purchasing goods or services. This share is above the global average which stood at 38 per cent as of 2016 and the second-highest figure in the world, only behind China.

Considering the Indian consumer market a booming niche, e-tailers viz. Amazon and Flipkart are infusing capital, as well as technology, in it. Recently, Flipkart proclaimed to initiate the Hindi interface to facilitate its Indian customers. With this introduction, the e-commerce company targets to add the next 200 million customers online to its platform, according to the daily news, The Economic Times.

A Move to Seize Prospective Customers

Walmart-backed e-commerce firm, Flipkart has released the Hindi interface before the festival season. The e-commerce company was engaged in intensive research and apprehending requirements of Indian customers entering the online market in tier-II and tier-III cities, above-mentioned media reported citing the e-tailer companys statement.

"With the Hindi capability, users will be able to see all the information and search for their desired products in Hindi - a language whose internet user base is expected to outgrow English by the year 2021," the companys statement said.

Flipkart will also introduce audio-visual navigation capabilities in its app in the upcoming phases to handhold first-time users, it added.

"We are committed to developing solutions that will help the adoption of e-commerce by the next 200 million consumers who come online. We have deployed around 80-90 per cent of our resources towards solving for Bharat with our Hindi interface being one of the biggest catalysts in this transition," CEO of Flipkart Group, Kalyan Krishnamurthy told the daily news.

As language is a convenience and not a barrier, Flipkart believes this native language capability will play a significant role in further adoption of e-commerce in the country, Krishnamurthy added.

Apart from Hindi, the e-commerce company decides to release its capability in other Indian languages in the offing to add more customers via its native language interface.

In the previous year, the company had bought AI startup, which masters in converting speech into text in ten Indian languages. The acquisition was primarily made to fortify its roots in the Indian market. There are other companies viz. Amazon and Google, which are transiting their communication interfaces to meet Indian consumers requirements.

Other Companies Switching to Hindi Interface

It is not the first time when an e-commerce company has apprehended the Indian populace and switched to Hindi interface. In the previous month, Amazon Indian released its Hindi interface customer service chatbot. The American company employed this strategy to improve its customer experience following the post-delivery of products.

Similar to Flipkart, Amazon is also planning to expand its reach amongst Indian consumers and thus, adding more native languages to become user-friendly, according to the daily news, Inc42.

Further, Amazon proclaimed to develop a regional language interface for Alexa, its voice assistant.

The internet company, Google addressed this problem earlier on and thus, added several Indian language preferences in Google Assistant. Similar to this, social media networking platforms, Snapchat and Twitter are also planning to localize with Indian regional languages.

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