Walmart’s Indian arm Flipkart on Wednesday introduced a smart assistive interface feature called “Saathi” which aims at mimicking the typical real-life shopping experience for consumers who are comfortable being assisted by a salesperson. It uses a combination of text and audio-based instructions to guide new users in their e-commerce journey.
With the new shopping assistant, Flipkart aims to target the customers in rural India as well as Tier II and III cities. The company said the smart assistive interface also aims to reduce consumers’ reliance on others to experience e-commerce.
Flipkart Saathi mimics real-life shopping experience for customers who are comfortable being assisted by a salesperson. The shopping assistance uses text and audio-based instructions to help new users make their purchase over Flipkart’s e-commerce platform.
The assistant icon is available at the header of the app at almost every screen. It provides visual and voice guidance on what to do next when you tap on the icon starting from searching for a product or deal to checkout. However, you cannot talk to Flipkart Saathi and can only tap on the assistant icon for limited help.
“Flipkart Saathi” will help first-time e-commerce users on the platform enhance their overall shopping experience, the company said.
Flipkart said the feature aims to empower consumers across tier-2, tier-3 cities and beyond in rural India, as it seeks to bring the next 200 million consumers online. “Flipkart is committed to bringing the next 200 million consumers online and solving for that in every possible manner,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart, said in a statement.
This first-of-a-kind feature from Flipkart is available in Hindi and English to start with.
In the Hindi interface, Flipkart also added colloquial languages, instead of opting for the bookish phrases. Meaning the Hindi interface will host terms that people use in their day to day life.
While Flipkart is providing a shopping assistant to help buyers on its platform, Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa has a different approach to help people shop online. An Alexa-powered smart speaker like Echo Dot allows users to order an e-commerce platform without actually visiting the website. You can tell Alexa to buy an item available at Amazon, which searches for the item on the website.