Flipkart brings voice search to users in Hindi and English

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Bangalore: Flipkart, the e-commerce marketplace has introduced voice search on its platform in Hindi and English language.

The voice search will enable customers to search from a pool of over 150 million products across 80+ categories through speech.

Currently available in Hindi and English, according to Flipkart, the new voice feature will enable faster onboarding of customers from smaller towns and simplify their e-commerce journey.
Over 75% of internet users in India come from non-English speaking backgrounds and a majority of them are from non-urban, rural areas. This makes it imperative to solve the language barrier for enabling access to the benefits of the internet, including e-commerce.

Online shoppers in tier-2 cities makeup nearly half of all shoppers and contribute to three out of every five orders for leading e-retail platforms, as per a joint study conducted by Bain & Company and Flipkart in 2020,

In line with this, Flipkart has introduced voice search to enable customers to discover and buy products using voice commands in Hindi and English and a blend of both.

The voice search is capable of helping users search through the product catalogue using colloquial commands such as “काला जूता दिखाना”, “सब्जी कIटने वाला देना” etc., thereby reducing the friction points in their e-commerce journey.

The in-house tech that enables natural language conversations
To enable voice search in Hindi and English, Flipkart deployed a host of technical capabilities such as Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Text-to-Speech for Indian languages. Flipkart’s in-house engineering and data sciences team have built the new voice feature.

Once a user gives a command, the automatic speech recognition recognises the voice and converts it into text. Here, the Natural Language Understanding tries to identify the intent and entity from the keywords given in the command.

Flipkart’s search engine will pick keywords and fetches results for the customers in a fraction of a second.
Flipkart voice search engine is built with a mix of technologies and its existing text-based search capability. It has been trained on Flipkart’s data to offer a voice search platform. It can understand natural language-based long and complex queries made by users in different accents.
“Voice search, along with some of the other initiatives by Flipkart, will make the digital commerce experience more convenient, accessible and seamless for the new wave of online shoppers,” said Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart.
The gradual rollout of voice search since January this year is witnessing impressive adoption across the country with initial trends showing over 5 million queries a day.

The launch of voice search follows the introduction of voice assistant for Flipkart’s grocery store last year.

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