Flipkart adds voice assistant to its grocery store Supermart to help customers shop

Flipkart's voice assistant is capable of understanding vernacular languages such as Hindi.

Flipkart has introduced a voice assistant in its grocery store Supermart to allow consumers to discover and buy products easily using voice commands. The feature has been currently made available for Android devices and will gradually be rolled out to iOS and the website.

“The voice assistant 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,” said the Walmart-owned e-retail company.

Flipkart. Image: Reuters

Flipkart. Image: Reuters

It is capable of understanding vernacular languages such as Hindi, e-commerce categories and products, and tasks such as searching for a product, among others.

The company wanted to give consumers a conversational experience and the AI-enabled voice assistant, would make shopping simpler by assisting them in an easy basket building, said Manish Kumar, SVP Grocery and General Merchandise & Furniture, Flipkart.

The indigenously developed AI platform will automatically detect the language spoken by the user and translate the command in real time to understand their intent. This feature will allow the assistant to have engaging shopping-related conversations in various Indian languages.

As the voice assistant can understand variations in commands in both English and Hindi, it will let consumers build their grocery basket by simply talking to the assistant, similar to talking to a shopkeeper.

“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 company said in a statement

Recently, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) rejected Flipkart’s proposal seeking approval for entry to the food retail sector, citing a regulatory issue.

The company had set up a new local entity ― Flipkart Farmermart ― to focus on food retail in India, and had applied for requisite licences from the government.

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