Flipkart starts voice assist in multiple languages to make shopping simpler

Flipkart undertook a detailed ethnographic study for over five months in multiple towns and cities to gather insights and opportunities which led to the development of voice assistant for grocery.

Online retailer Flipkart said it has introduced ‘voice assistant’ capability on its platform, to make consumers’ e-commerce journey simpler and more natural. Introduced in Flipkart’s grocery store, Supermart, the ‘voice assistant’ will enable consumers to discover and buy products easily using voice commands in multiple languages, starting with Hindi and English.

The voice-first conversational AI platform has been built by Flipkart’s in-house technology team with solutions for speech recognition, natural language understanding, machine translation, and text-to-speech for Indian languages. These solutions are capable of understanding vernacular languages such as Hindi, e-commerce categories and products, and tasks such as searching for a product, understanding product details and placing an order. The  AI platform is built to automatically detect the language spoken by the user, and in real-time transcribe, translate, transliterate and understand the user’s intent to have engaging shopping-related conversations in various Indian languages.

“Video, vernacular and voice have been the key pillars of solving for the adoption of e-commerce in India. 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. “The technology team at Flipkart travelled 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.”


Flipkart undertook a detailed ethnographic study for over five months in multiple towns and cities to gather insights and opportunities which led to the development of voice assistant for grocery. The research brought forward interesting insights from users wanting to do a variety of tasks using voice while seeking easy accessibility of services. Flipkart said its voice assistant will elevate the user’s grocery shopping to a more personal and natural experience.

With its ability to understand variations in commands in both English and Hindi while also responding to mixed language commands, Flipkart said the voice assistant will help consumers build their grocery basket by simply talking to the assistant, similar to talking to a shopkeeper.

“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, Flipkart. “Our indigenously developed and AI enabled voice assistant, which is first introduced for grocery, will make shopping simpler for consumers by assisting them in an easy basket building experience.”


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