A robot that represents Amazon's new AI assistant using a computer

Amazon.com Inc. is introducing an innovative shopping companion named Rufus to its retail store. Rufus will aim to enhance the shopping experience for customers seeking more than just a simple keyword search.

On Thursday, Amazon’s mobile app will launch Rufus, an artificial intelligence-powered assistant, for a select group of users. It’s designed to assist shoppers in comparison shopping and obtaining answers to complex queries. According to Amazon’s blog post, users can leverage Rufus to inquire about various topics. These range from advice on starting an indoor garden to recommendations for Valentine’s Day gifts.

Traditionally, shoppers have relied on manually typing keywords or product names into Amazon’s search bar to find specific items or explore products based on their features. However, with the emergence of advanced AI technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, there’s a growing demand for more conversational and intuitive search experiences. Rufus represents Amazon’s response to this shift, offering a more interactive and personalized shopping journey.

Amazon’s recent move follows Walmart Inc.’s expansion of its AI-powered search tool. The tool allows shoppers to search for products based on their intended use rather than specific product names. Walmart’s app, available for iOS users, provides a similar conversational shopping experience. This highlights the increasing adoption of AI technologies in the retail sector.

Amazon will announce its fourth-quarter earnings results later on Thursday. This signals its continued commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction in the competitive retail landscape. With the introduction of Rufus and other AI-powered initiatives, Amazon aims to stay at the forefront of the evolving shopping preferences and behaviors of consumers.