Amazon is banking on an AI-powered assistant to help customers make better shopping decisions.
The tool, called Rufus, will pull information from Amazon and the web to personalize experiences.
Rufus will progressively roll out to US customers in the next few weeks.
Amazon announced a new AI-powered shopping assistant called Rufus.
The idea is that customers will be able to make better shopping decisions by generating answers from Amazon and web data.
The announcement confirms a Business Insider report in October that predicted the new tool and referred to it as Project Nile. The formerly secret initiative was projected to transform the search experience by making it more personalized.
Rufus aims to help guide and inform customers about what to look for while shopping in different product categories. For example, customers can ask questions like, "What to consider when buying a new TV?"
Customers can also search for products based on the activity they're shopping for, like a camping trip or gardening. They can also ask for specific product recommendations based on age group or season.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said in an earnings call on Thursday that customers would still be able to search in the search bar if they had a very clear idea of what they want.
"The way we're rolling it out is that it is additive to the current shopping experience," Olsavsky said.
Rufus will compare product categories, like offering insight on the difference between face lotion and face oil. The shopping assistant will also be able to answer questions about a product while on the page, using information from listing details, reviews, and Q&As.
Amazon is launching Rufus in beta and planning to roll it out to customers, beginning with those using the mobile app. It will release the tool to the rest of customers in stages within the next few weeks.
Read the original article on Business Insider