Amazon Shopping AI

Amazon Rolls Out Generative AI Shopping Assistant

Amazon has begun quietly testing a generative AI shopping assistant in its mobile app that can answer customer questions about products. The assistant will encourage shoppers to ask a question about a specific item using the product listing, reviews, and other relevant sources to generate an answer.

Amazon Personal AI Shopper

The new feature is built into Amazon’s mobile app and processes product details and customer reviews through a large language model (LLM); the assistant can provide specific answers to a variety of questions, such as product suitability for certain activities, material quality, and size recommendations. It will even tell a joke or write software code with a connection to the product.

The AI is limited to answering questions about individual products at the moment; it cannot compare products or suggest alternatives. And it will only provide information about the product, not add it to a user’s cart or save it for a future sale. And, like all LLM-fueled services, there’s a chance it can get details wrong through hallucinations.

The value to shoppers is that it is theoretically faster to ask and see a response from the chatbot than it is to page through product details or reviews. It also provides information in multiple languages, widening the information pool for shoppers. There is no official announcement about the new tool, first spotted by research firm Marketplace Pulse, but Amazon has since confirmed it is testing the generative AI shopping helper for future wide release.

“We’re constantly inventing to help make customers’ lives better and easier, and are currently testing a new feature powered by generative AI to improve shopping on Amazon by helping customers get answers to commonly asked product questions,” Amazon explained in a statement.

The new feature contains Amazon’s generative AI commerce experiments of the last several months. Amazon started publishing summaries of product reviews written by generative AI last year. It also created a generative AI platform to help third-party sellers write better product listings and a tool for synthetically generating images that marketers can use in advertising.

And Amazon is hardly alone among e-commerce hubs in providing generative AI shopping assistants. They come in many forms, such as the search-based tool Microsoft added to Bing, Mozilla’s Fake Spot-based shopping assistant powered by a new LLM, or Mastercard’s Muse, which personalizes shopping suggestions using generative AI. There’s also the route Shopify took, augmenting its online shopping platform with a generative AI assistant relying on ChatGPT’s API, or the white-label generative AI platform Blutag offers retailers. Walmart just showcased a new search feature using generative AI to help users seek out products based on what they are used for rather than just by the name of the product.

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