There really is no getting around talking about Amazon without mentioning the fact that it is the biggest online marketplace in the world. It is among several factors being held responsible for the unfortunate wave of numerous brick-and-mortar retail stores closing their doors due to seemingly lopsided competition. Despite these implications, the company founded by Jeff Bezos only continues to expand further still. One of their major online markets right now is India, and Amazon is set to capitalize on this with one major development. This week, Amazon India finally launched a new mobile app in India’s primary national language.
CNN tells us that a version of the Amazon app in Hindi was made available by the online retailing giant for Android this Tuesday, September 6. That a language option for India would come as no surprise; after all, it is the most commonly spoken language in that country, and considered the “mother tongue” by 530 million of its citizens. Amazon engaged the assistance of a language team to develop the Hindi-language system used for the new app variant, one that would make the interface easily navigable by Hindi speakers.
In a statement, Amazon India VP for category management Manish Tiwary explained the company’s rationale to forgo converting English wording into “perfectly translated” Hindi for the India version of the app, instead focusing on “commonly used” terms in the language. “Our aim is to ensure any customer can find anything they want on Amazon.in, anytime and anywhere, irrespective of the language they speak or where they come from,” says Tiwary. To that end, while menus and navigation in the Android app are in Hindi, users in India still need to type item searches in English, and use that language for reader reviews. Amazon is developing such options for the future.
Tech companies, particularly in the US, are keeping their eyes on India as it enters into the mobile internet era, with the advent of smartphones enabling millions of people to access the internet. It is this emerging generation of Hindi-speaking new internet users that has spurred Amazon to begin developing a version of their online retail app for the country.
While Amazon India is now ready for download on the Google Play Store for Android phones, Hindi-speaking Apple iOS and desktop computer users will need to wait a while longer for their turn. Amazon has promised these platforms will also get their own Hindi versions, but can give no schedule.
Image courtesy of Hindustan Times