What you need to know
- Amazon introduces Rufus, a conversational AI tool in beta for select customers in the U.S.
- Rufus is trained in product information and can answer questions, make recommendations, and facilitate product discovery.
- Customers can interact with Rufus by typing in or speaking questions into the search bar.
Starting Tuesday (February 6), Amazon announced that it will be rolling out the beta version of its conversational shopping AI tool, Rufus, to a small set of customers.
Amazon’s Rufus is a Gen AI shopping assistant trained in product catalog and information from across the web and will answer customer questions on shopping needs, products, and comparisons, make recommendations based on this context, and facilitate product discovery within the app.
For instance, you can ask Rufus about what to consider when buying running shoes, or to bring up comparisons about two products, such as the differences between trail and road running shoes. You can even ask more specific questions about a product, such as “Are these durable?”
Rufus is said to try to narrow down the best products to match the prompt while integrating seamlessly into the same Amazon shopping experience they use regularly.
According to Amazon’s blog, Rufus can help customers with product research on Amazon, asking questions like “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
Customers can also 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,” Amazon says.
Rufus also helps compare product categories, find the best recommendations, and ask questions about a specific product while on a product detail page.
Rufus is available to select customers in the U.S., which will roll out with the next update to the app. To use Rufus, customers can either type or speak 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.
Customers can expand the chat dialog box to see answers to their questions, tap on suggested questions, and ask follow-up questions in the chat dialog box.
Users 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 says that Rufus is still in the early days and that the company “will keep improving our AI models and fine-tune responses to continuously make Rufus more helpful over time.”