By Elton Gomes
Eyeing its expansion in the Indian market, Amazon will now feature Hindi language support for its Android application and mobile website users. The new feature underlines Amazon’s focus on the Indian market and customers will now be able to read detailed product information, find deals and discounts, place orders, pay for their orders, manage their account information, track their orders, and view their purchasing order in Hindi.
What is the Hindi language feature?
Amazon India’s Android app and mobile website will now come equipped with a language option in the menu bar. Thanks to a server-side update, customers are not required to update the application for the language option to appear, The language button gives users the option to switch from English to Hindi, but it currently only lists top products and important shopping information in Hindi. Navigation buttons and posters are displayed in Hindu, but the feature does not list all products in the regional language. Users are free to change their language anytime they want.
Other languages to be introduced in future
Amazon said that it plans to introduce the app in other Indic languages as well. The company added that Hindi was introduced as roughly 50% of its customers in India prefer online shopping in a language other than English. It is likely that the new Hindi feature will give Amazon access to millions of new customers across Indian towns and villages.
Amazon working on Hindi commands for Alexa
Prior to launching the Hindi language support, Amazon was reportedly working on implementing Hindi voice commands on its voice assistant, Alexa. Although Alexa supported Hindi voice commands, they were only available for a limited skill set. Amazon’s attempt to implement Hindi voice commands could be aimed at providing Indian users with a better experience of the device.
Amazon’s plan to reach more customers in India
The Jeff Bezos-led company is planning to rope in more customers from India by breaking the language barrier. Amazon’s foray into Hindi marks an important step as the company looks to expand its presence in India.
Amazon is already in the second spot in India’s $33 billion e-commerce market and it says it has approximately 150 million users registered here. It is now using regional languages to reach India’s farthest corners. “The next 100 million customers will have to be in the vernacular language,” Kishore Thota, director of customer experience and marketing for Amazon India, told the New York Times. Thota further said, “the level of trust increases when they see something in their own language.”
In order to make its mark in a rural setup, Amazon rolled out Project Udaan in May 2015. The project was a tie up with offline partners such as kirana stores, medical stores, and mobile shopping outlets so that local entrepreneurs could help the uninitiated in shopping online. As of 2017, Udaan had 18 partners and 6,000 stores. It delivered in 1,700 pin codes across 650 locations in 21 states and union territories.
In April 2018, Amazon India said that it wanted to achieve plans for delivering products within two hours. In an interview with CNBC-TV 18, Amit Agarwal, country head of Amazon India, said that he is happy with the organic growth of the company, which seems to be great for India’s e-commerce industry.
Why is the Indian market so important for Amazon?
China, India, and Southeast Asia have become valuable markets for e-commerce companies as they have large populations with a relatively lower internet and smartphone penetration as compared to developed markets.
E-commerce companies also see plenty of opportunities as per capita income and expenditures in many developing countries are estimated to rise in the future. Amazon has made clear its intent to heavily invest in India. After Amazon acquired Whole Foods, it was in talks to purchase India’s largest online grocery site, Big Basket, clearly highlighting the fact that it has aggressive plans to expand in India.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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