Amazon has revealed Rufus, an AI-powered shopping assistant positioned to transform the online retail experience.

CEO Andy Jassy announced the company’s commitment to integrating GenAI across all its businesses in a statement on Thursday (1 February).

Rufus is specifically designed to assist users in seamlessly searching and shopping for products. When users input a query through text or voice in the search bar within Amazon’s mobile app, a chat window appears at the bottom of their screen.

This interactive feature allows users to pose conversational questions such as seeking advice on the differences between, or comparing, items.

Amazon, in a blog post, emphasised Rufus’s ability to enhance the ease with which customers find the most suitable products to meet their needs.

The AI assistant incorporates Amazon’s product catalogue, customer reviews and Q&A sections, in addition to information sourced from the broader web, to provide comprehensive and informative responses.

Security analyst at Increditools Kelly Indah said: “E-commerce players are rapidly adopting AI to enhance customer service, supply chain ops, sales forecasting and other critical business functions.”

However, the ethics of AI development and data privacy remain open challenges for e-commerce companies looking to integrate the technology, according to Indah.

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“Amazon’s aggressive AI integration shows the huge potential value for e-commerce, if implemented responsibly,” Indah adds.

Currently undergoing testing with a select group of users in the US, Amazon plans to roll out Rufus nationwide in the coming weeks.

Over recent months, Amazon has launched various generative AI tools and services, seizing the momentum ignited by OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The company has experimented with AI tools to address shoppers’ queries and distil reviews, alongside an AI feature that assists third-party sellers in crafting compelling listings.

Beyond its retail domain, Amazon introduced Q, a chatbot tailored for businesses, and Bedrock, a GenAI service catering to its cloud customers.