In March, a report by IAMAI and Kantar IMRB said that 205 million new internet users would come online if content is available in regional Indian languages, which will be key motivation of using internet for people who are not using it.
Nobody in the industry took it seriously except Amazon India it seems.
Amazon India, on Tuesday, said that its e-commerce website and mobile application were available in Hindi to reach next 100 million consumers in the country. With this Amazon has beaten every other e-commerce players in the country as except Amazon India none of India’s leading e-commerce portals – Flipkart, Snapdeal or Paytm Mall – currently have a local language version of their apps or websites.
But this is not enough for Amazon as the tech giant plans to support more local Indian languages on its shopping app and mobile website and will also extend the service to mobile platforms beyond Android, said Kishore Thota, Amazon India’s head of customer experience and marketing, without giving a timeline.
According to last Indian Census 2011 data on language, the percentage of Indian population with Hindi as their mother tongue has risen to 43.63% from 41.03% in 2001.
Kishore Thota, director (customer experience and marketing) at Amazon India said in a statement to Livemint, “We are starting with Hindi and as we learn (from) the experience and become rock-solid, we would be in position to understand the other languages,” The focus will be on Hindi over the next year and Amazon may delve into regional languages like Bengali and Tamil after that.
Notably, Bengali is the second most spoken language while Marathi replaced Telugu in third place, according last Indian Census.
According to Thota, Amazon India has an internal team called “Reach”, which is working on how to tap the next million users.
Currently, players such as Paytm Mall offer users the option to use Hindi as a language. However, Flipkart is available only in English.
“Launch of the Hindi shopping experience is a significant step towards bringing the next 100 million customers online. This first Indian language launch will enable Hindi-preferring customers to shop in their preferred language,” Amazon India vice-president (category management) Manish Tiwary said at a press conference.
With the addition of Hindi, customers will be able to read product information, find deals, place orders and pay for them in Hindi.