E-commerce is one of the markets that is growing at an increasing rate across the globe, causing a fundamental shift in the retail industry and the unprecedented pandemic has further increased its growth. The restrictions imposed by the governments such as travel bans, social distancing, and stay at homemade customers shift to online purchasing and this has paved for e-commerce platforms to expand their reach. The countries across the world experienced an economic decline due to the pandemic and Indian e-commerce is one of the few markets that received momentum during the pandemic. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reported that India has 1.15 billion mobile users and out of these, 520.1 million belong to rural areas. To reach these users, overcoming the language barrier is crucial. The customers tend to engage more if the content is available in their dialect and this will add the element of reliability and provides a personalized user experience. According to a report released by KPMG, the CAGR of the user base for e-commerce in local languages is 32%, and is expected that 120 million users will be added to the user base in the next five years. It is thus evident that making content available in local languages will attract more customers in India’s un-digitized population.
Social commerce, Voice commerce, and Video commerce are some of the touchpoints that will strengthen the reach of e-commerce while leveraging local languages. Social commerce has gained attention during the pandemic and has witnessed mass acceptance by both markets and consumers. Facebook and Instagram are the two platforms that have been leveraging it innovatively. Facebook has recently launched Facebook shops through which businesses can directly sell products from the platform. With Reliance Jio, the biggest market partnering with Facebook and their foray to use Whatsapp to execute local grocery delivery system, further made social commerce important in India’s digital landscape. It is found that in India there are more than 20% of voice-based search queries. The reason behind this growth is that voice search is faster than typing. It is also found that 90% of all video consumption that is happening in local languages is seen in the use of short videos through digital platforms like Instagram reels. So brands need to focus on using regional language strategy within their digital strategy.