Mar 14, 2019
3 min read
When it comes to shopping online, e-commerce platforms have stolen the limelight. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only form of online shopping. E-retail, a form of online shopping used to be, is often overlooked. E-retail generally involves smaller ticket yet higher frequency purchases, as compared to e-commerce.
In fact, it could be argued that the language play is even more important when it comes to retail, since its target audience is mostly made up of a section of the population likelier to actively prefer Indian language platforms, like housewives, and the older generations. Localized platforms would allow these users to do more, which in this case would translate to more purchases and a greater level of user comfort.
Localizing e-retail platforms involves 4 major steps. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Of course, the first step, the step on which all other efforts must rest is localization of the platform itself, both the website and app. Users must be able to use your platform in their language of choice, with no breaks in language experience.
No matter what action the user takes, the platform’s language experience must hold. This applies to drop down menus, checkboxes, pop up windows, checkout pages and more. After all, by breaking the language experience, you run the risk of having users drop off.
Localization of platforms involves both static and dynamic content, as well as real time localization in some cases. Localizing a platform involves getting to know its content better. It also involves enabling Indic input for search and discovery of content in Indian languages.
In addition, users may sometimes search for products using their Indian language names, at other times in English, and at other times with a mix of the two.
Localized Cross Channel Communication
While online shopping itself only takes place on platforms, user engagement is a continuous process. With users on a constant lookout for deals, new stocks, new brands, and more, platforms need to actively keep in touch with users through communication. This user communication takes place over multiple channels. SMS, email, push notifications, and more.
All this communication needs to be made available in the user’s preferred language, for which localization comes into play. After all, what’s the point if a user shops in Telugu but receives updates on offers in English?
Localizing cross channel communication generally involves preparing multiple, already localized messaging templates, with space left for the actual updates to be filled in. These updates can be localized and added to the prepared templates.
Indic Voice Support
Voice support in multiple Indian languages can also be added to platforms. This lets users find the products they’re looking for just by speaking to their devices, instructing them. Given that a large section of potential e-retail users comes from groups that are less familiar with digital platforms and traditional UI/UX, voice based functions would likely prove to be more intuitive for them.
Voice solutions on e-retail platforms must make sure that product quantities, names, and brands are repeated clearly and confirmed by the user before they can be selected. They must also be repeated at the end, at the final step before checkout.
Indian language chatbots on e-retail platforms can help users by asking them for their requirements, ultimately directing them to what they need without these users having to search and find what they’re looking for. This makes the process a whole lot easier for end users, offering them a direct link to what exactly they require.
As with voice support, Indic chatbots have the added advantage of helping e-retail users overcome the limitations of traditional UI/UX, offering them direct access to fulfilling their requirements.
In the rush to localize e-commerce platforms, the importance of e-retail must not be forgotten. While the process of localization is the same for both, user demographics differ and this influences the specifics of the process. After all, localization requirements for a website or app should be tailored to the needs and preferences of same user base that ends up using these platforms, so as to help build an immersive end-to-end language experience for these users.
E-retail as a space can only open up to most people who would potentially use it on a regularly basis if platforms are localized. By leaving them English only, their scope is limited, and existing users will not be able to make the best of these platforms.