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Amazon India tries to bring back lost users, pilots vernacular play with Hindi


A combined research by Google, Bain & Company and Omidyar Network recently said that around 54 million online shoppers didn’t purchase anything in the last 12 months, which cost e-commerce over $50 billion loss.

The study cited various reason behind losing such a staggering number customers and one of the major reason was the language barrier, besides complex interface. The user interface for sites and apps is mostly in English. This rules out a very large number of new internet users.

And the study gives a strong reason to e-commerce platforms to provide their services in local languages in India. Amazon India has begun experimenting with the adoption of regional languages and launched a Hindi interface for its mobile website. It has launched a small pilot wherein the interface features text in Hindi, the company said.

The company’s move in delving into vernaculars is in sync with the growing non-English users of e-commerce. A study by KPMG and Google in 2017 revealed that users of Indian languages are expected to reach 536 million by 2021, while English users will be around 199 million. The report said nine out of ten new internet users between 2016 and 2021 would use local languages.

Besides, of the 481 million internet users in the country, 70 per cent consumed Indic content, according to IAMAI and Kantar IMRB.

Amazon India head Amit Agarwal has earlier admitted that the company has been working to remove the language barrier and its focus has been first to provide customer support in the vernacular language, which accounts for half of such calls for it.

However, this is not the first time when an online retailer is experimenting with vernacular. Earlier, Snapdeal started offering multilingual interface on its mobile app in 2015.

The development was first reported by ET.

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