Walmart’s Flipkart rolls out voice assistant to make shopping easier - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Walmart’s Flipkart rolls out voice assistant to make shopping easier

Flipkart is rolling out a voice assistant feature to its platform to make it easier for consumers to shop as the Walmart-owned e-commerce giant looks to expand its reach in the nation.

The AI-powered voice assistant currently supports grocery category, called Supermart, but a company spokesperson told TechCrunch that Flipkart will be extending it to other categories. The feature began rolling out to Android users on Tuesday, and the company says it is working on bringing it to its iOS app.

The assistant, which supports Hindi and English, will also understand for more languages in the future, said the company, which competes with Amazon in India. The feature allow users to explore deals and offers, filter results, add multiple items to cart, receive contextual suggestions, and check out using conversational voice commands.

Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Flipkart, said the company travelled across the country to fine-tune its voice capability. “The launch of voice assistant also aligns well with the growing adoption and comfort of consumers towards voice-based online commerce​,” he said in a statement.

The addition of the voice assistant functionality comes months after Flipkart added an “audio visual guided navigation” feature that was aimed at simplifying the user experience for first-time internet users — and existing online users not comfortable with making transactions online.

Hundreds of millions of Indians have come online in the past decade. Many of them are less-educated and are uncomfortable with typing and navigating services in English. Voice search has become popular among many such demographics in recent years. Google said last year that voice searches were growing 270% year-on-year in India.

“​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, SVP Grocery and General Merchandise and Furniture at Flipkart in a statement.

Amazon has added support for Hindi on its website and introduced voice shopping to Alexa-enabled smart speakers and other devices. Both the companies were deeply hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which promoted New Delhi to issue a nationwide lockdown.

More to follow…

June 9, 2020 at 04:25AM

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Manish Singh, Khareem Sudlow