Dec 27, 2022
4 min read
25% of Indian language internet users face difficulty in using English language payments interfaces, causing drop offs
E-commerce platforms have experienced wild popularity, allowing Indians all over the country to shop for their favorite products right from the comfort of their own home. As we’ve talked about earlier though, the e-commerce revolution, like so much else on the Indian internet, was completely by and for English users. Indian languages played little to no role, and users who did not know English (a language most Indians do not speak) were effectively excluded from comfortably using e-commerce platforms.
Companies have now started realizing the importance of localizing e-commerce platforms. Tapping into the significant purchasing potential of the Indian internet’s massive Indian language internet userbase is finally on the radar of these companies, who have been enabling language support on their platforms.
How Language Can Prevent You From Converting Customers
However, as anyone will tell you, the most important step when it comes to shopping online is the act of actually clicking ‘buy’ and completing your purchase. A user only becomes a customer when they convert, by actually buying something off a platform and paying for it. All the other steps of the process lead up to this.
Drop off, or the act of leaving a platform at any step of the user journey, becomes especially critical at this point. The user has decided what they want and is even planning to buy is. However, their actual purchase is cut short for some reason or the other.
One of those reasons is the language barrier. Financial transactions involve trust, and without communication, trust fails. If a user doesn’t understand what a platform tells them when it’s time to make a payment, there’s a good chance the payment will not happen.
Localizing Checkout Pages
To their credit, some platforms that have included localization in their strategy, like Amazon India, have localized their checkout pages as well. Users can add products to their cart and even select their preferred payment method in their own language.
This is an example of a checkout page that has been localized, showing payment options in various languages.
(You’ll notice that card details are not available in Indian languages. If banks worked to change this, they could see a large uptick in card adoption among the masses.)
While is this is great, it’s not nearly enough.
Payment Gateways – The Final Frontier
The final step is still not available in Indian languages – payment gateways are only available in English, something that can consequences for e-commerce platforms even though these gateways are handled by 3rd party providers (often banks). According to a Google-KPMG study, 25% of Indian language internet users face difficulty in using payments interfaces, causing drop offs.
Unfortunately, this is outside the hands of e-commerce platforms, since these gateways are hosted externally, and handled by banks or fintech companies.
The good news however, is that they require little effort to localize, given that almost all the content on these pages is static, and fields requiring filled in details, minimal, and mostly limited to numbers. Despite the low effort required to make these changes, the benefits can be significant.
Payment gateways are generally fairly basic. They carry information on what a user needs to do on the page, some security guidelines to keep in mind, and other information like instructions. They also have input boxes where users can enter the OTPs they receive, or their secure payment password.
All this needs to be localised if Indian language internet users are to use these pages comfortably.
Localising Payment Gateways
The most basic thing to check off would be localizing all the content present on these pages. This content, almost completely static, consists of payment instructions, security warnings, payment details, status messages, and more. All this content can be translated, with bank names and product names transliterated as needed. The end result is that the user knows what to do with the information the payment gateway presents them.
Fortunately, localising input isn’t necessary in this case since only numbers are involved.
That being said, localising a payment gateway must go hand in hand with communication localisation – payment gateways usually trigger the sending of an OTP to authorize the transaction, and these OTP communications must be localized, something we’ve talked about at length earlier.
Reducing Drop Offs
All in all, what this means for e-commerce platforms is that shoppers who aren’t using their platform in English can expect the same level of localized user experience for the very final step of their user journey, the payment. With language no longer acting as a barrier, these users can convert and become actual customers.
In other words, localization has a direct impact on reducing drop offs for an e-commerce platform. Fighting and reducing drop off rates for a platform is high on the agenda of any e-commerce platform, and localised payment gateway pages can play a key role in facilitating this, at the most critical stage in a user journey.