In the world of e-commerce where top dollars and famous investors rule the roost, Amazon India has taken an unconventional route by launching the Hindi version of its mobile website and Android application on Tuesday. This could give it the keys to the kingdom, claim experts.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and his men have launched the local-language plan, aiming to turn things around in India. Bezos referred to Amazon.in as “India ki apni dukaan” (India’s own shop) in his fifth-anniversary letter to customers. The global e-commerce giant plans to reach out to the next 100 million customers who might be more comfortable with Hindi than with English.
Now, those going on Amazon will be able to find product information, deals, and discounts in Hindi as well as place orders, pay and manage their accounts in the language.
"This is the first Indian language (we are using)… it will help millions of customers who prefer Hindi," said Manish Tiwary, vice-president, category management, Amazon India.
The company hopes that the Hindi version of its website and app will see good traction in the festive season.
"Now… customers can do their Diwali shopping in Hindi," Tiwary added.
For a year, a team of more than 200 engineers, data scientists, language experts, voice analysts, artificial intelligence (AI) experts, and machine learning engineers have been working on Amazon’s big plan for India.
Sources said while Walmart was busy fine-tuning the Flipkart deal, Amazon was working hard on perfecting the language push. This could be its winning formula against rivals in the country. This will also help it take on Google, which has been making a host of language-based products under its “Next Billion Users” initiative.
Amazon wants to launch its website in other languages as well. But, its plans are more detailed. Even its video-streaming platform, Prime Video, has a lot of movies and TV shows in Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and other languages. Alexa, its voice-based assistant, will also soon be talking in other languages as well.
Amazon’s rivals, such as Flipkart, have been trying to incorporate languages other than English for a while now, but without much success. It has now bought Liv.ai, an AI start-up that translates into 10 languages.