A common practice it has been to call the nearby kiranawala to list out the grocery items you need to purchase. To replicate this natural behaviour for users in the online world, e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has launched voice assistant on its platform to allow users to discover and buy the products they like.
The difference, however, is now instead of the shopkeeper, consumers will list the grocery items to the Voice assistant. The feature aims to ease the transition of several hundreds of first-time internet users into their digital journeys.
The consumers can speak to the voice assistant in English and Hindi to purchase the products. Currently, the service is available only for Flipkart's grocery store, Supermart.
The company spokesperson said that it will be eventually introduced for other categories as well. Also, more languages for voice commands are also on the cards.
The voice-first conversational AI platform has been built by Flipkart's in-house technology team with focus on solutions that understand vernacular languages such as Hindi, e-commerce categories and tasks such as searching for a product, understanding product details and placing an order, etc. It can automatically detect the language spoken by the user and respond to mixed language commands.
The AI platform was built after research for over five months across multiple towns and cities.
"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 e-commerce," said Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart. He further added, "The launch of Voice Assistant also aligns well with the growing adoption and comfort of consumers towards voice-based online commerce."
Manish Kumar, SVP Grocery and General Merchandise & Furniture, Flipkart, said, "Grocery is one of the most underpenetrated categories in Indian e-commerce and has a huge potential to grow and solve for customer adoption."