Amazon schedules an AI update for ecommerce

Together with

The Future. Amazon’s upcoming AI feature, Project Nile, will revamp Amazon’s ecommerce search bar with an AI assistant that can answer questions, compare products, surface reviews, and offer recommendations based on a user’s search history. Amazon already accounts for 60% of all US consumer product searches, so Project Nile could soon become the most mainstream avenue for the average person to engage with an AI assistant.

Searching the Nile
Amazon’s Project Nile is like a “deeply knowledgeable in-store salesperson who’s familiar with each shopper’s individual taste,” according to VP Joseph Sirosh.

  • Likely leveraging the same AI that was just added to Alexa, Project Nile’s search AI will be able to hold conversations with customers to assist with shopping queries — like deciding what coffee machine to purchase.
  • And to hedge against “hallucinations,” the project will initially employ “human AI trainers” to review search answers — testing searches against ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing Chat.
  • Although the feature was supposed to drop last month, it’s still being tested and could debut in January, according to a source that spoke with Insider.

Amazon hopes Nile will boost sales specifically on mobile devices. Despite the fact that 80% of Amazon searches start on mobile, conversions are much lower than what the company would like. That likely has to do with the experience — it’s just a little more cumbersome to make purchases from a phone.

But if an AI can make comparing products and completing a sale easy enough, Amazon may, mind-bogglingly, become an even bigger company.


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