What’s all the chit-chat? — Introduction to WhatsApp VoiceBot for E-commerce

5 min readDec 28, 2021


Increased adoption of Smartphones by Bharat during this pandemic

Recent technological advancements have been a catalyst for increasing the number of smartphone users in India. Cheaper technology, better connectivity, and globalisation are paving the way for a boom in the myriad of digital services across domains. As of 2020, 30 out of every 100 people have a smartphone and affordable data. By 2025, the number of Indian Smartphone users is projected to increase by 50%.

With the “Stay at home” & “Shop from home” trends that are here to stick around in post-pandemic India, e-commerce marketplaces are seeing a new wave of users being onboarded. This wave brings along new users from Tier 1,2,3 cities and rural India across a broad spectrum of digital literacies.

These internet users have discovered the potential of the digital world and are eager to become a part of it. However, a large chunk of the e-commerce domain is not yet ready for them.

Comparison of Active internet users vs. WhatsApp and E-commerce users in India

The remaining population is apprehensive of e-commerce services and digital transactions due to barriers in terms of language and digital literacy. On further observation, it is interesting to note that majority of non-e-commerce service users have a passive interaction with e-commerce platforms through their friends and family members.

What do we mean by language and digital literacy constraints with the e-commerce space?

We have identified three target groups for whom the e-commerce domain is not yet accessible:

  1. New Internet users: The idea of Internet and being part of the digital world is new for them. Naturally, the trust and confidence in the space is low until they have gained enough familiarity to discover further. Until then, these users try to stay in a safer/ known environment (such as WhatsApp, YouTube) with limited exploration.
  2. Internet users who do not avail E-commerce services: These users are both from urban and rural settings who prefer to be served in their local language. They are aware of the advantages of the internet but not as exposed as the globalised audience. A majority of the existing platforms and digital marketplaces are inaccessible to them due to language barriers and low digital literacy.
  3. Online shopping users with low digital confidence: These users who are occasional or regular users of online shopping apps are often in need of assistance or guidance through the shopping journey. Post browsing for items, the users hand over their devices to family or friends to complete the checkout and payment.

There is a requirement to rethink existing e-commerce experiences/digital marketplaces for these users by making the shopping experiences inclusive and accessible. Many e-commerce organisations such as Flipkart, JioMart, and Amazon are now using “Voice” and support shopping in Indian languages as means to make the digital marketplaces accessible to emerging Indian internet users.

At Navana, we are setting sail to reimagine the e-commerce space to become ‘conversational’ and ‘voice driven’ for Bharat.

What is our approach to bridge this gap?

With our journey and experiences in developing voice tech for Bharat since 3 years, we are equipped to harness the advantages of voice technology to cater to the Indian populace. We believe that voice-driven e-commerce experiences would be integral in helping the users overcome their apprehension and gain the trust and comfort to shop online.

At Navana, we have envisioned this into a product:

Product Highlights:

  1. Voice- driven Conversational AI shopping experience on WhatsApp for the Next Billion Users.

WhatsApp has proved to be the most popular and trusted digital platform for Indian smartphone users. Currently, we have observed an extensive use of WhatsApp for commerce in an unorganised fashion. Small businesses, local vendors and e-commerce merchants prefer WhatsApp as the platform for interactions with customers before and after purchase. This disposition provides businesses a whole new range of possibilities to provide users with a personalised conversational shopping experience on a familiar medium.

Utilising WhatsApp as a medium of interaction to shop online makes your digital marketplaces accessible to a whole new demographic of potential customers. Navana’s WhatsApp Voicebot lets you turn this medium of interaction into point of sales for your business.

  1. Support in 9 Indian Languages with major dialects covering variants for 30k+ SKUs: Navana’s WhatsApp Voicebot is available in 9 Indian languages: Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bangla, Assamese, Oria, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. This accounts for ~84% of the Indian population.
  2. Phenomenal In-house Speech recognition outperforming Google: Our NLP Layer works on top of the speech recognition, boosting the product recognition accuracies to range between 95% to 99% across languages. We also support Code mixed inputs to adapt to the colloquial ways of conversation such as Hinglish.
  3. Intuitive end-to-end conversational shopping experience for Indian market: We have designed the product to align with current shopping behaviour of users and interaction patterns in WhatsApp to make the conversational shopping experience voice-driven and intuitive for users of various digital literacy backgrounds. This aids us to craft an end-to-end conversational shopping experience customised for each e-commerce sub domain that is inclusive of and localised to Indian language speakers.

By partnering with us you can now give your businesses an edge by unlocking the potential of conversational shopping for your digital market places.

Curious to know more about how conversational commerce help your business? Stay tuned for our next post.

Ready to scale your business to the next billion users?

Contact us to know more: sales@navanatech.in

Visit our Website: voicebot.navanatech.in




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This blog is an initiative by our team to share snippets of our work and play. We write about our work process, new initiatives, and loads of sick ideas along the way.




This blog is an initiative by our team at sayl.ai to share snippets of our work and play.