Feb 1, 2024 - Business

Amazon rolls out Rufus, a new AI shopping assistant

Amazon search bar

Amazon Rufus is coming to the retail giant's app in the U.S. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is adding a new AI-powered shopping assistant named Rufus to its mobile app, the company announced Thursday.

The big picture: Rufus launched in beta to a small subset of customers and will continue to roll out to the rest of Amazon's U.S. customers in the coming weeks, the company said.

  • Rufus can answer customer questions and recommend products through the search bar on the app.
  • The tech giant's announcement comes weeks after Walmart unveiled its own AI chatbot.

Between the lines: "With a burgeoning product catalog, search is one of the most challenging things for Amazon to get right," GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders told Axios.

  • "Rufus is an attempt to use AI to make the process of finding the right products easier."

What they're saying: "Customers are also excited about our approach to generative AI, it's still relatively early days, and our approach to democratizing AI is resonating well with customers," Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said in an earnings call Thursday.

  • "It's additive to the current shopping experience," Olsavsky said. "You'll still be able to search in the search bar."

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional information. Axios' Ryan Heath contributed to this report.

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