Flipkart, Walmart’s supermart online grocery store in India, has introduced a voice assistant that allows users to buy products in multiple languages, starting with Hindi and English.
Flipkart said the artificial intelligence-powered (AI) tool makes users feel like they are talking to their neighborhood store staff, TheNextWeb.com reported.
Through this feature, users can search for products, read product details, add items to their cart and place orders.
“Voice-led shopping is natural, and we wanted to give our users a truly conversational experience in the most natural way possible,” said Manish Kumar, a senior vice president at Flipkart.
Flipkart said its development team collected voice samples to understand pronunciations and variations in different languages. The company is debuting the feature for its Android users starting on Tuesday (June 9) with an iOS update coming later, the report said.
“The technology team at Flipkart traveled across the country to understand the various contours of building a voice capability and fine-tuned it to identify and respond to the different variations in Indian languages,” said Jeyandran Venugopal, chief product and technology officer, in a statement.
He said the conversational AI feature was built by Flipkart's in-house technology team with solutions for speech recognition, natural language understanding, translation and text to speech for Indian languages.
“As a homegrown eCommerce company, Flipkart has been at the forefront of building India-first innovations, and video, vernacular and voice have been the key pillars of solving for the adoption of eCommerce in India,” Venugopal added. “While we have seen great adoption for our video and vernacular offerings, the next step in that direction is to solve for the voice capability for eCommerce.
Two years ago, Walmart paid $16 billion for a 77 percent stake in India’s largest online marketplace in what was the world’s biggest eCommerce deal.
PYMNTS’ “Commerce Connected Playbook: Grocery Edition,” a collaboration with Fiserv, revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the grocery sector. There were 62.5 million online grocery orders placed in the U.S. in April, a figure that beat the previous record set in March. During April, shoppers spent $5.3 billion on groceries ordered online.