Flipkart launches Voice Search feature with Hindi, English support
Flipkart on Thursday officially launched the Voice Search feature on its e-commerce platform. The functionality is available in both English and Hindi languages. Flipkart earlier offered voice assistant functionality on its platform but was restricted to the grocery services.
According to Flipkart, the voice search functionality has been rolling out gradually since January this year. Since the rollout, it has registered more than 5 million queries per day.
Citing studies (conducted by Flipkart), it said searching through voice is both natural and quicker. The company said it is 3x faster than typing in English and 5x faster in Hindi as per independent studies. Flipkart adds that the voice search functionality will also help better understand new users who are mostly from non-metro/tier 1 cities. For sellers, the functionality will allow them to make in-roads to a larger market, the company added.
From the technology point of view, Flipkart said it has deployed multiple capabilities such as Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Text-to-Speech for Indian languages. The technologies were built and deployed by the company's in-house engineering and data science team.
“Once a user gives a command, the automatic speech recognition recognises the voice and converts it into text. Here, the Natural Language Understanding tries to identify the intent and entity from the keywords given in the command. These keywords are then picked up by Flipkart's state-of-the-art search engine, which fetches results for the customers in a fraction of a second,” Flipkart explained.
Flipkart further said that its Voice Search merges these technologies with existing text-based search capability. The technologies also help the app better understand natural language-based long and complex queries made by users in different accents.
“As a homegrown e-commerce company, Flipkart understands the heterogeneity of the Indian market and is committed to solving for the next 200 million users online while catering to the needs of all users to make e-commerce more inclusive. Voice search, along with some of the other initiatives by Flipkart, will make the digital commerce experience more convenient, accessible and seamless for the new wave of online shoppers,” Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart said in a release.