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Amazon launches AI chatbot Rufus: 5 ways to use it to shop better

Amazon launches AI chatbot Rufus: 5 ways to use it to shop better

The chatbot was launched in beta version to a small subset of customers in Amazon’s mobile app in the US and will be rolled out across the country in the coming weeks

Marisha Singh
Amazon Rufus

Amazon has launched a new artificial intelligence chatbot called Rufus, becoming the latest big tech company to release its version of a GenAI tool to aid its users.

It said in its blog that “Rufus is an expert shopping assistant trained on Amazon’s product catalog and can use information from across the web to answer customer questions on shopping needs, products, and comparisons, make recommendations based on this context”.

The chatbot was launched in beta version to a small subset of customers in Amazon’s mobile app in the US on Thursday and will be rolled out across the country in the coming weeks, announced the e-commerce giant.

In its blog, Amazon said that AI has been used to “improve customer experiences for over 25 years however the deployment of generative AI is going to change virtually all customer experiences that we know.”

5 ways to use Amazon Rufus shopping AI assistant

1. Learn what to look for while shopping product categories:

Customers can conduct more general product research on Amazon, asking questions such as “what to consider when buying headphones?”, “what to consider when detailing my car at home?”, or “what are clean beauty products?” and receive helpful information to guide their shopping mission.

2. Shop by occasion or purpose:

Customers can search for and discover products based on activity, event, purpose, and other specific use cases by asking a range of questions such as “what do I need for cold weather golf?” or “I want to start an indoor garden.” Rufus suggests shoppable product categories—from golf base layers, jackets, and gloves to seed starters, potting mix, and grow lights—and related questions that customers can click on to conduct more specific searches.

3. Get help comparing product categories:

Customers can now ask “what’s the difference between lip gloss and lip oil?” or “compare drip to pour-over coffee makers” so they can find the type of product that best suits their needs and make even more confident purchase decisions.

4. Find the best recommendations:

Customers can ask for recommendations for exactly what they need, such as “what are good gifts for Valentine’s Day?” or “best dinosaur toys for a 5-year-old.” Rufus generates results tailored to the specific question and makes it quick and easy for customers to browse more refined results.

5. Ask questions about a specific product while on a product detail page:

Customers can use Rufus to quickly get answers to specific questions about individual products when they are viewing the product’s detail page, such as “is this pickleball paddle good for beginners?”, or “is this jacket machine washable?”, or “is this cordless drill easy to hold?”. Rufus will generate answers based on listing details, customer reviews, and community Q&As.

Rufus beta

Rufus is being made available to select customers when they next update their Amazon Shopping app.

To use Rufus, users in the beta can simply start typing or speaking their questions into the search bar in Amazon’s mobile app and a Rufus chat dialog box will appear at the bottom of their screen.

Expand the chat dialog box to see answers to questions, tap on suggested questions, and ask follow-up questions in the chat dialog box.

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

Read: 5 ways in which GenAI will change your work life in 2024

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