Impact of Regional Languages on E-commerce sites in INDIA

Recently i came across an article by IAMAI chief talking about how less impact does Regional languages will have on internet and e-commerce play in india. All sites you see from bookmyshow.com to seventymm.com are available in english as medium of instruction. This is something i am not against and i surely agree regional languages dont hold lot of importance in b2c e-commerce sites where target customer is given a product based on its merit not on basis of content.

Again even if a site has information as its model  lack of digital regional language content and inability of users to easily type in regional language using english keyboard act as a deterrent.  Even if you are ready to invest in infrastructure for delivery of information in regional language the return on investment is very marginal. Though if you are looking at integrating Mobile phones as another channel for delivery and interaction then language content can help you to reach out to masses which now has access to mobile phones but not the internet. Thats a different ball game all together. The mobile based users can benefit by knowledge of your product in the regional language and without any need of translation message can easily spread to large group of people. With most of the b2c players looking at tier-ii and tier-iii cities for expansion the need to localize content does not means changing medium of language but localizing the actual product delivered according to target market requirements.

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September 2007
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