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Amazon Beta Launches Generative AI Shopping Assistant Rufus

Amazon, AI, Rufus, eCommerce

Amazon has beta launched a new generative artificial intelligence (AI)-powered shopping assistant. 

Dubbed “Rufus,” the assistant is now available to a small subset of customers using the Amazon mobile app and will be rolled out to more customers in the U.S. in the coming weeks, the company said in a Thursday (Feb. 1) blog post

Rufus is trained on Amazon’s product catalog, customer reviews, community Q&As and information from across the web to provide personalized recommendations, answer questions and facilitate product discovery, according to the post.

Customers can use Rufus to conduct product research by asking questions like: “What to consider when buying headphones?” or “What are clean beauty products?” and receive guidance to make informed decisions, the post said.

Rufus also allows customers to search for products based on specific occasions or purposes, such as: “What do I need for cold weather golf?” or “I want to start an indoor garden.” It suggests relevant product categories and related questions to help customers find the products they need, per the post.

Comparing product categories is also made easier with Rufus, according to the post. Customers can ask questions like: “What’s the difference between lip gloss and lip oil?” or “Compare drip to pour-over coffee makers” to find the product that best suits their needs.

Moreover, Rufus offers recommendations tailored to customers’ specific needs, per the post. Customers can ask for recommendations for occasions like Valentine’s Day or specific products like dinosaur toys for a 5-year-old. 

Rufus is seamlessly integrated into the Amazon shopping experience, the post said. Customers can use Rufus to ask specific questions about individual products while viewing the product detail page. For example, customers can ask if a pickleball paddle is good for beginners or if a jacket is machine washable.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that generative AI enhances customer engagement in retail by personalizing experiences. As a result, retailers are now looking to harness the technology to tailor product recommendations and marketing campaigns, according to “What Generative AI Has in Store for the Retail Industry,” a PYMNTS and AI-ID collaboration.

Amazon’s announcement comes on the same day that Google Maps said it has begun the rollout of a new generative AI-powered feature that will help people discover places based on their specific needs.