India is home to 22 official languages and close to 20,000 unofficial ones. While a majority of Indians tend to be bilingual or trilingual, there are large swathes of the Indian population that are most comfortable conducting their personal and business transactions in their native or regional language.

Given Amazon’s focus on making ecommerce accessible to more people – both buyers and sellers - initiatives around vernacular interfaces, voice, and video become even more important. The launch of the language seller experience in Kannada on the Seller Central and the Seller Mobile App is the latest step in this direction.

“By introducing self-registration for sellers in Kannada, Amazon is taking yet another step towards enabling micro, small and medium enterprises leverage e-commerce to grow their business.”
Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka

"Ease of doing business is a key priority for the government, and our focus is on helping businesses adopt technology to be successful in markets. Technology and e-commerce will play a crucial role in boosting the growth of millions of small and medium businesses in domestic as well as international markets, in the coming days. By introducing self-registration for sellers in Kannada, Amazon is taking yet another step towards enabling micro, small and medium enterprises leverage e-commerce to grow their business. The ability to conduct their business in Kannada will greatly benefit the SMBs and MSMEs in Karnataka, eliminate language barriers, and help them succeed”, said Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The launch of seller registrations and account management services in Kannada will benefit over 35,000 existing Amazon sellers and lakhs of new sellers from tier – 1 and below markets like Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli, Gulbarga and Mysore among many cities in Karnataka. To launch the services in Kannada for sellers, Amazon.in worked with expert linguists to develop an accurate and comprehensible experience. The team has chosen commonly used terms over perfectly translated words to make the experience authentic, easily understandable and seamless for sellers. The launch in Kannada is followed by the recently launched seller registrations and account management services in Hindi and Tamil, which saw over 50,000 new Amazon sellers sign up on the Amazon.in marketplace in a language of their convenience.

Pranav Bhasin, Director- MSME & Seller Experience, Amazon India said, “Amazon India’s vision is to enable every motivated seller anywhere in the country to reach customers in India and every country in the world. Language is a prominent barrier that Indian MSMEs face when they seek to leverage ecommerce to expand their business. We, at Amazon India, shall continue to eliminate barriers faced by these businesses and facilitate ease of business.”

“Language is a prominent barrier that Indian MSMEs face when they seek to leverage ecommerce to expand their business. We, at Amazon India, shall continue to eliminate barriers faced by these businesses and facilitate ease of business.””
Pranav Bhasin, Director- MSME & Seller Experience, Amazon India

Amazon India took the first major step towards breaking the language barrier for millions of Indian entrepreneurs, micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local shops and retailers in June 2020 with the launch of the Amazon seller website as well as on the mobile app in Hindi. Seller Support Services and Seller University videos and tutorials could also be accessed in Hindi.

With this latest launch, Amazon.in seller registration and account management services are now available in three Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil. Already, seller registrations and account management services in Hindi and Tamil (which was launched subsequently) have attracted over 50,000 new Amazon sellers from markets like Darbhanga in Bihar, Barmer in Rajasthan, Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh, Hailakandi in Assam, Bardhaman in West Bengal and Salem in Tamil Nadu.

Amazon.in worked with expert linguists to develop an accurate and comprehensible experience. The team has chosen commonly used terms over perfectly translated words to make the experience authentic, easily understandable and seamless for sellers.

Breaking down language barriers

In September 2020, ahead of the Great Indian Festival, Amazon.in launched shopping experience in four new Indian languages – Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. In March 2020, Alexa was introduced on the Amazon shopping app for Android devices to help users shop using voice commands. Amazon Alexa too is designed to understand proper nouns in various languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu etc. With the launch of Alexa in Hindi, customers can ask questions and interact with Alexa in Hindi or Hinglish, in addition to English.

Furthermore, Amazon Prime Video makes titles available in Hindi, English, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi and Bengali in addition to English. Users can browse through Prime Video experience in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English. Authors can self-publish their work on Kindle Direct Publishing in five Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati in addition to English. In 2019, Amazon launched an Automated Messaging Assistant in Hindi. Amazon has also added video summaries to help customers get a quick overview of the product and an immersive shopping experience. Customers can also speak to Amazon Customer Service executives in 5 Indian languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil.

Using the Seller App in Kannada

Amazon Sellers who wish to change their preferred language can change it in a few simple steps on both Amazon’s Seller website and Seller mobile app. Sellers registering through the Desktop can change their preferred language by accessing the ‘language drop-down’ available on every page, at the top-right corner. On the Seller App, the language can be changed through the language drop-down on the bottom left corner while registering and through the App ‘Settings’ menu. Once the language is changed, sellers can view all pages and workflows in Kannada. Amazon will continue to evolve the experience to add more features in Kannada, helping thousands of SMBs to enjoy the benefits of registering and managing their business in a language of their choice and convenience.