With lockdown restrictions on online deliveries being eased earlier this month, online grocers like BigBasket are back to operating like usual. You can now easily find a time slot to place orders. The BigBasket has been quite intuitive and easy to use for as long as I remember. But, the company aims to further simplify the shopping experience by adding a voice assistant into the mix.
Like several other apps, BigBasket allowed you to search for items using voice input before as well. It used Google Voice Typing for the same but its placement wasn’t too prominent. I recently jumped into the BigBasket Android app to place an order and noticed a new microphone icon labeled ‘Talk’ floating at the bottom right.
Tapping this mic icon introduces you to a voice assistant that lets you search for items in a jiffy. You have voice feedback, with the assistant saying out loud – ‘searching for Maggi’ when you search for the same. You can also ask the voice assistant to take you to the checkout page, where you can review your basket before completing the order.
BigBasket adds a voice assistant to its mobile app in partnership with Slang Labs, which is an Indian startup working to augmented existing app experience with voice interactions. It was a part of the first batch of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator India back in mid-2018.
The voice assistant experience in currently available in 5 languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. I’ve tried out the feature in English and Hindi. And well, the voice to text translation is pretty snappy and you will see the item you’re looking for on your screen right away. The search has been accurate 9 out of 10 times for me. There’s a major thing from the experience though.
The voice assistant only lets you search for items and does not directly add them to your basket. I mean, you cannot ask it to ‘add 10 eggs to my basket’ instead, you will have to search for eggs and add them to the cart manually. Also, one thing I noticed is that the voice assistant disappeared for me after placing an order. I’m not sure it was a server-side update and has been pulled or will I see the feature again once my order is delivered?
With the addition of this feature, BigBasket appears to be getting serious about voice interactions. This feature, if it is rolling out to everyone, will give the company more insight into how users search for products (and what products are most searched for) within its app. It can use this information to double down on a certain feature to perk up the shopping experience