A feature that every India based online grocery site needs to implement

I have been trying out a lot of grocery sites and in general, we have profiled quite a few of online grocery services present across the country. But here is a peeve point that I have with pretty much all of the grocery sites – i.e. lack of understanding of the end user.

First, who is the end user in this case? I’d say mostly women*.

And what’s the peeve point?

First things first – not a lot of women population in India is online (read: 5 Reasons why there is no E-commerce bubble in India). And the ones online needs a better experience. Talking about a minimal feature requirement (peeve point) that every online grocery site needs to implement, well – it’s localization.

And here is what I mean by localization:

1. Black Gram is known as Urad dal (in Hindi), as Uddachi dal (in Marathi), Mashkalar dal (in Bengali), Udina Hittu (in Karnataka), Minappa Pappu (in Telugu).

2. Pepper is known as Kali Mirchi (in Hindi), Mire (in Marathi), Golmorich (in Bengali), Mari (in Gujarathi), Milagu (in Tamil), Kurumulagu (in Malyalam) and Karimenasu (in Kannada). [source]local_food_name

What does that mean? Well, when I go to local stores in Bangalore, I face these issues – i.e, of local language names and store staff’s complete unawareness of the same. So imagine what people are facing when they go online to buy groceries online  (and add to that, there is no store staff to ask)!

While in offline stores, there still is a certain intent to finish the shopping (or rather a no-opt-out-option and one tries to really make the store staff understand what one wants to buy), closing the website is just a click away.

And mind you, nobody is going to tell you that ‘hey! you don’t understand my language, so I dumped the site’. And you will end up with A/B testing (‘maybe she closed the site because we used red colors in the link? Let’s change the colors, man’) with no basis or meaning.

In short, think content. Think like a buyer and their (language) limitations. Think web 1.0.

And unlike local language push in mobile/Internet space (which has been a favorite topic in media/political circuit), local language implementation in online grocery service is a necessary feature and might just help in increasing conversion.

What’s your opinion?

* – If you say, men order the most – then online grocery sites are in a deeper trouble.

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