Amazon has introduced a new voice shopping feature that’s powered by Alexa in India, in a bid to increase its presence in the country’s eCommerce market, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The new feature is available “primarily in English,” and it is out on Android. It reportedly has an understanding of proper nouns as well as regional words.
“As we brought this functionality to Indian customers, we built custom functionality to cater to India’s unique requirements. We built this keeping the Indian customer at the center, optimizing for myriad accents and products relevant to the Indian customer,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Customers can ask Alexa to search for things and then ask that those items get checked out. They can also get information about shipping and delivery by asking.
Amazon has said that voice shopping is a growing segment, but there are conflicting reports as to whether this is true. However, the company is going all in on India with the feature.
“Indian language internet users are expected to account for nearly 75% of India’s internet user base by 2021. In fact, research by KPMG and Google shows that by 2021, nine out of every 10 new internet users in the country will likely be an Indian language speaker and our search trends show a significant move in this direction as well,” Google said in a report. “Voice search is another area to look out for; we’ve seen 270% growth in voice queries (YoY) in India. Recognizing the opportunities, several well-known brands have enabled voice-activated search, including ride sharing apps, e-commerce sites, telcos, and car brands, to name a few.”
Google has invested about $5.5 billion in local businesses in the country, and many Indians prefer using voice because they may not be as comfortable typing in English.
“In 2018, internet penetration in India accelerated like never before, reaching an average of 40 million new users every year — the fastest in the world. Low-cost smartphones, combined with affordable data packages, have propelled digital far beyond the big cities. The result — 400 million Indian consumers are now online,” Google said.