Etsy Launches Generative AI ‘Gift Mode’ to Suggest Personalized Presents
Etsy has introduced a “Gift Mode” feature, leveraging generative AI to create a personalized gift recommendation list. The new tool tool asks shoppers a series of questions about the gift recipient and occasion and then suggests tailored options from Etsy’s catalog of over 100 million items through a mix of human suggestions and OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model.
Etsy AI Gifting
Gift Mode appears as a quiz on Etsy where users input details, including their relationship to the gift recipient, that person’s interests and hobbies, and the upcoming event or holiday that prompted the gift. Users can select from 15 interests so far, such as crafting, fashion, sports, video games, and pets. Based on these choices, Gift Mode generates gift guides centered around over 200 archetypes or personas that Etsy has labeled, such as “The Video Gamer,” “The Music Lover,” “The Pet Parent,” and “The Adventurer.” The company plans to add more interests and personas over time to keep up with emerging trends.
The new capability leverages a combination of machine learning, human curation, and GPT-4. The LLM boosts Etsy’s ability to design a more personalized gift guide tailored to the relationships and interests of the people giving and receiving gifts. In addition to curated gift guides, Etsy introduced an optional gift teaser feature that allows shoppers to send the recipient a preview of their gift via email. The teaser can include a gift note and tracking information in cases where the present may not arrive prior to the occasion.
“Gift Mode makes it effortless to be thoughtful by harnessing the power of our expansive collection of +100 million items and bringing curation to scale. It serves up a bespoke collection of results for each persona, elevating exceptional gifting options from Etsy’s sea of choices. Our hope is that each and every person who uses Gift Mode feels like it was made just for them and their recipients,” Etsy CEO Josh Silverman explained in a blog post. “Today’s launch is the first chapter of our investment in the gifting space. We will continue to iterate and enhance Gift Mode’s capabilities, launch new features to help people stay on top of their gifting needs, and make it so that even if they’re late they can still be thoughtful.”
Etsy developed Gift Mode in hopes of easing gift-buying anxiety. According to an Etsy survey, 71 percent of respondents felt stressed when purchasing gifts over the past year. The company believes a dedicated gifting experience tailored to shoppers’ needs will help users discover thoughtful presents from Etsy’s community of independent sellers. With over 90 million total customers globally, Etsy hopes machine learning innovations like Gift Mode will help fuel further marketplace growth.
The generative AI-fueled aspect of Gift Mode will also help Etsy compete with the growing number of such tools on other e-commerce platforms. For instance, Amazon has begun testing a generative AI shopping assistant that can answer customer questions about products, which follows the company’s initiatives to publish 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.
Microsoft also created an AI shopping assistant for Bing, while Mozilla’s Fake Spot-based shopping assistant is powered by an in-house LLM, and Mastercard’s Muse 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.