The importance of vernacular is the single most important thing that almost every online player and app developer would agree upon. The reason is not the downfall of English as a global language or any common hatred against the world language. Rather, the reason is the rapid growth in the internet using population that prefers using the internet in their regional language instead of English. There a lot more people from tier 2 and tier 3 cities and also the rural areas that are coming online rapidly. Most of these users do not consider English as their daily usage language. After all, they say, if you talk to a person in their native language, it directly goes to their heart!
Consumer Behaviour Differs with the UI Language
Flipkart is all set to grab its customer’s faith through the most widely spoken regional language of India – Hindi. The platform is introducing Hindi language interface to reach out to more users who understand the language more than English. E-commerce is a booming industry; however, people still get sceptical sometimes while purchasing. Since they can’t do trials of the products and the terms and conditions policies and other important clauses make the users uncomfortable in understanding it, thereby demotivating a lot of customers to use the platform. The introduction of regional languages also works psychologically in gaining people’s attention and trust where they can connect emotionally with the e-commerce site.
It is also important to note that the current government, which has become the flag-bearer of identity, is supporting regional languages. This has also encouraged digital media websites to introduce their content in multiple Indian regional languages. In such a scenario, the e-commerce sites, which are here to make money and increase customers, cannot skip the race which is helping them to vouch for around 200 million more users.
Benefits of Local Language for Flipkart
About 90% of new internet users in India are Hindi speakers and the language will give them the opportunity to understand the information in a better way and connect to the offerings of Flipkart. The website is preparing to introduce other regional languages as well. Also, the population here with growing demands is a huge treasure trove for any marketer. While Amazon has already introduced the language to help in resolving the issues of customers in Hindi, it has set the ball rolling for others. Google is also giving attention to local languages through its platform ‘Question Hub’ which aims to get Indian publishers on board to generate relevant content for the native speaking audience.
According to a Mint report, Flipkart CEO said that the company wants to offer a comfortable experience, impart familiarity and aid in decision making that would be very helpful for the vast majority of the Indian consumers.
Cause and Effect of the Vernacular Wave
In general, on the one hand, it is said that society at large is becoming more and more westernized. However, on the other hand, it is also evident that a large part of the society is quickly shedding the colonial hangover and the first step towards hat is accepting one’s very own mother tongue as the language of business such as for online shopping.
The vernacular language wave has not only hit the e-commerce platforms but the phenomenon can be witnessed across all the online businesses. Any platform that deals with content in India is trying to reach out to as large a population as possible and this can only be done by incorporating the vernacular languages.
Vernacular Digital Media
The digital media houses have understood the need for local languages and thus they have started rolling out either specific apps or websites for specific language groups or offer the same main app in various languages. In fact, the OTT industry is seeing a similar phenomenon. While Netflix and Amazon prime started out English TV series and originals, they have now started offering shows in Hindi as well. Hoichoi became the first Indian OTT platforms to be specifically designed to cater to the Bengali speaking community as it is the second most spoken language in India after Hindi. This marks the start of the vernacular language OTT platforms too.
Flipkart’s decision to integrate Hindi in its platform will give it a clear advantage over other platforms and we can see the sales surge in the coming years due to more and more new users joining the platform and the visits turning into final sales.
Sugandh Priya Ojha and Soumya De