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How Search has evolved with the advent of eCommerce

24 January 2020

“Search” is no longer limited to what it meant to marketers a decade ago. Today, the way people ‘search’ has transformed. Especially, when it comes to product research, people are shifting from traditional search engines to e-commerce platforms, searching for information such as price, images, availability and reviews. This shift has already happened in developed countries and is in progress in India as well.

How is Flipkart customizing search for India?

Flipkart aims to empower consumers across tier II, III cities and beyond in rural India, as it seeks to bring the next 200 million consumers online. Hence, it is building itself as an e-commerce platform that will not only cater to India but also to Bharat. Read more about Bharat versus India here.

For this task, Flipkart undertook extensive research and received insights from consumers yet to experience e-commerce and occasional users in tier-II cities. In a process to truly democratize e-commerce, Flipkart has innovated in the following ways:

  1. Vernacular search:
    Flipkart allows users to search for products in Hindi, a language that is predicted to outgrow English in India by 2021. Other key vernacular languages will be made available in the following months.

  2. ‘Smart Assistive Interface’:
    The new feature is an audio-guided navigation aim that resembles the typical real-life shopping experience for consumers who are comfortable being assisted by a salesperson. It uses a combination of text and audio-based instructions to guide new users in their e-commerce journey. This includes a list of key actions in the form of pop-up texts followed by audio for a better understanding. As audio is simple to follow and offers relatability, consumers can follow the instructions in a more immersive manner.

Talking about the latest developments at Flipkart, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group chief executive officer of Flipkart says “Flipkart is committed to bringing the next 200 million consumers online and solving for that in every possible manner. Our talented technology team has worked hard to make Hindi interface and smart assistive interface available to consumers at a time when an increasing number of consumers from smaller cities are getting access to data. We are confident of such initiatives bringing about a massive change in our efforts to democratize e-commerce in India.”

What this means for advertisers…

With “Search” on Flipkart, advertisers can showcase their products on relevant search results.

Flipkart’s Product Listing Ads enable advertisers to use dedicated ad slots to display their products to consumers with high purchase intent. This ensures brands gaining meaningful visibility amongst audiences that are more likely to buy their products. 

Product Contextual Ads use visually-rich brand creatives for advertisers to showcase their products. The richness of banners also makes search a more pleasing experience for customers. In the process of revolutionizing “Search” for the consumer, Flipkart continues to provide great avenues for advertisers to engage with its audiences.

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  1. Abrar, Peerzada. “Flipkart Unveils Smart Assistant to Handhold First-Time e-Commerce Users.” Business-Standard, 27 Nov. 2019, https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-unveils-smart-assistant-to-handhold-first-time-e-commerce-users-119112700668_1.html.

  2. “Marketer’s Toolkit 2019 – The Diversification of Search.” WARC, Jan. 2019, https://www.warc.com/content/article/warc-trends/marketers-toolkit-2019–the-diversification-of-search/124765.

  3. Rana, Raghbir. “The End of Search Dominance? Consult Your Marketplace.” WARC, 3 Sept. 2019, https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/opinion/the-end-of-search-dominance-consult-your-marketplace/3207.