According to a report Amazon India is experimenting with its new Hindi interface on its mobile website on the pilot basis and is hankering to fetch its neglected user base. According to a combined research by Google, Bain & Company and Omidyar Network around 54 million online shoppers didn’t purchase anything in the last 12 months, which cost e-commerce over $50 billion loss. The reasons behind loosing such a shocking number of customers are multifarious, such as the language barrier, and the complex interface of e-commerce platforms as all the content available is in English.
The study by Google, Bain & Company and Omidyar Network also suggests that a huge chunk of the probable customers on the internet are not comfortable with the English language. And so, the study has given e-commerce platforms like Amazon to experiment into adopting regional languages to get an inclusive growth.
It has been in public domain now that the number of Hindi users has grown to 42 Million to 234 Million from 2012 to 2016 surpassing the 175 million of English users. This has led to a spree on the internet to support vernacular content, thanks to the burgeoning smartphone penetration. And hence Amazon India has also joined this bandwagon to gain its lost customers once again.
Amazon India has begun experimenting with the adoption of regional languages and on August 14, Amazon launched a new category of Alexa skills that would enable customers to help Alexa learn Hindi and other Indian languages. It is said Alexa will use the new voice-based skill called “Cleo” to learn more about Indian Language and culture. Further, Amazon has launched a Hindi interface for its mobile website on the pilot basis that features Hindi.
Amazon’s head for the country, Amit Agarwal previously also confirmed that the company has been working to remove the language barrier for its customers and trying to provide customer support in the consumer-friendly vernacular language. Since till now, the arch-rivals Amazon and Flipkart have kept their interface in English, but this scenario is fading with the losses acquired and need for new users. Now, the behemoths are targeting the non-English users most of them living in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. According to an interview by Amazon India head Amit Agarwal to the Economic Times, the company has a vision for the next five years is to target the next 100 million e-commerce customers to their platform.
Economic Times also highlighted a report by IAMAI and Kantar IMRB, This report reveals that among a total of 48` million internet users in the country, 70 percent of users consume Indic content. Further, the report also says that 76 percent of users of the internet in rural India prefers vernacular content, however, this figure is not that steeping in urban India where this proportion is 66 percent. Amazon India is not the first e-commerce company that has come up with this amazing idea to support local language and hence enhances user base but earlier in 2015, another e-commerce player Snapdeal had introduced a multi-language support.
Another study by KPMG and Google in 2017 also revealed that the number of users of Indian regional languages is expected to reach 536 million by 2021, where English users will be just around 199 million. This report also highlighted that nine out of ten new internet users between 2016 and 2021 would use local languages. And if Amazon succeeds into attracting more users with the regional languages, this will let Amazon bring back its lost customers once again to its platform.