Online shopping on e-marketplace Flipkart can now be done in vernacular languages Bengali and Odia, the Walmart-owned company said on Wednesday.
With this, Flipkart is available in seven Indian languages, which would help the company penetrate the rural market.
The company said it had to translate 5.4 million words to bring the Bengali and Odia experience on the Flipkart app to help reduce the language barrier.
It will help leverage Flipkart to onboard the next 200 million customers.
Indian language internet users are estimated to account for nearly 75 percent of the country’s internet user base by 2021, industry reports said.
Ecommerce giant Amazon also has a host of Indian languages, but it is still not available in Bengali. Work is on to introduce it shortly, an official said.
Earlier this month, Flipkart expanded the portfolio of its audio capability with the introduction of voice search in Hindi and English. This move is expected to strengthen the connect with customers from smaller towns towards online shopping.
Flipkart has already introduced the voice assistant capability for its grocery segment last year. Voice assistant is more interactive in nature allowing for certain handholding for the customers while voice search is focused on the discovery of products on the platform.
Flipkart said the voice search is capable of helping users search through the product catalogue using colloquial commands also.
Studies conducted by Flipkart to understand the new-to-internet consumers or Bharat indicate that they need assistance in online shopping and seek easy discovery of products. Also, searching through voice is both natural and quicker as it is 3x faster than typing in English and 5x faster in Hindi, as per independent studies.
To enable voice search in Hindi and English, Flipkart deployed a host of technical capabilities such as Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Text-to-Speech for Indian languages, built by Flipkart’s in-house engineering and data sciences team.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)