Amazon deepens AI usage launching new shopping assistant 

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Amazon is beta launching its latest generative AI-based product Rufus, a shopping assistant tool designed to assist shoppers on any queries they have whilst on the e-commerce platform. 

Rufus, rolled out in the US to a small subset of customers on the Amazon app, will help consumers on shopping needs, products and comparisons, making recommendations tailored to the shopper whilst facilitating product discovery. 

Questions shoppers may have, such as “what to consider when buying running shoes”, will be provided with broad recommendation results, as well as being provided with more detailed results if asking “are these durable” to a recommended product. 

Rufus aims to improve how easy it is for customers to find and discover the products to meet their needs, integrated seamlessly into the Amazon shopping experience they use regularly. 

Customers using the beta Rufus model can access it by typing or speaking questions into the search bar in the Amazon mobile app, as well as in the Rufus chat dialog box. This can expand the chat dialog box to see answers to questions, tap on suggested questions, and ask follow-up questions in the chat dialog box. 

Customers can dismiss Rufus to return to their traditional search results at any time by swiping down to send the chat dialog box back to the bottom of their screen.

Amazon has stated it will keep improving its AI models and fine-tune responses to “continuously make Rufus more helpful over time”. This would also be improved with customers leaving feedback ratings with a thumbs up or thumbs down. 

Rufus is the latest in a long line of AI-based products Amazon has rolled out over the past 25 years. Such products like Alexa, drone deliveries and checkout-free go stores have all been fuelled by AI to enhance the customer experience. 

Amazon’s AI-generated review helped customers with common themes from up to thousands of reviews to help them understand customer insights. 

The e-commerce giant also recently introduced the Fit Review Highlights feature, which offers personalised size guidance and insights so customers can determine which size will fit them best.