On today’s episode of the Tech Talk Tuesday podcast, Ryan McQueeney recaps a historic day for Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) which saw the e-commerce behemoth reach the $1 trillion market cap threshold and launch Hindi language support in India.
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Amazon officially joined Apple on the $1 trillion list in late morning trading Tuesday, surpassing the necessary $2.050.27 per share mark in route to the momentous occasion. CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth now exceeds $166 billion, and Amazon managed to beat competitors like Google (GOOGL - Free Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) to the honor.
And earlier Tuesday—perhaps acting as a catalyst for the stock’s rally—Amazon unveiled a new Hindi language version of its website to the roughly half a billion people of India who speak the language, according to The New York Times.
India is the world’s fastest-growing market of internet users, and Amazon has already done a great job making headway. The U.S. online retail king is the country’s second-largest e-commerce website and has amassed 150 million registered users there. But if Amazon wants to expand in India, it will be need to attract less-educated customers and those who might be unfamiliar with the brand already.
“The next 100 million customers will have to be in the vernacular language… The level of trust increases when they see something in their own language,” Kishore Thota, director of customer experience and marketing for Amazon India, told The Times.
Amazon’s decision to launch Hindi language services cost the company untold dollars and about two years of time. Simply passing the English site through a translation algorithm resulted in gibberish, so Amazon hired native speakers to translate key sections of its site and built out its own translating code.
But Amazon’s investment in Hindi might help it take the next step in India, where it now goes toe to toe with a familiar foe: Walmart (WMT - Free Report) .
Through its investment in Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce behemoth, Walmart has found itself right at the top of the online retail pecking order in the country, and just as they have here in the U.S., Amazon and Walmart will likely go tit for tat in their efforts to joust for positioning.
But how big is the pie that the two companies are fighting for? Will Indian shoppers even utilize the Hindi platform? What might Amazon or Walmart do in India next?
Check out the show to hear Ryan’s answers to these questions, and more!
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