Transforming Online Shopping: Microsoft’s AI-Powered Tools for Enhanced Retail Experience and Price Matching

Robot hand with shopping cart full of gift boxes, blue background

In the ever-evolving digital marketplace, Microsoft has taken significant strides forward by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its Bing search engine and Edge web browser, creating a more streamlined and personalised shopping experience for users. As a leading digital marketing agency, we keep our finger on the pulse of these industry developments to help our clients stay ahead in the competitive online retail landscape.

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled a Bing search powered by the large language technology behind ChatGPT, describing its search engine as an “AI-powered co-pilot for the web.” The AI-infused search results began incorporating information from OpenAI, and Bing added a chat window to assist users in tasks such as creating shopping lists, summarising PDFs, generating LinkedIn posts, and providing advice on their queries. The Bing AI chatbot was initially made available to people with a Microsoft account. However, recognising the immense potential of AI in enhancing user experience, Microsoft extended this service to all users later in the year.

One of the new AI-powered shopping tools is the Buying Guides feature. Bing now uses AI to generate personalised buying guides based on the user’s shopping-related searches. These guides can take a generic term, such as “college supplies”, and provide categories, product suggestions, and comparison tables. Accessible through Bing Chat or the Edge sidebar, these guides are designed to help users navigate their purchasing journey with ease and confidence. Initially available in the US, Microsoft plans to roll out this feature to other markets soon. Meanwhile, Edge buying guides have already started rolling out globally.

The second key AI-enabled tool is the Review Summaries feature. Recognising that some shoppers prefer quick answers over detailed analysis, Microsoft now offers an option to bypass extensive research and reading multiple reviews. The AI-aided Bing Chat suggests aspects to consider when purchasing and can briefly summarise what online users say about a product or service. This feature promises to save users time and effort, delivering the most relevant information at their fingertips. Microsoft has started rolling out these review summaries worldwide.

The third and handy tool that Microsoft has integrated is the Price Match feature. Once users have selected their product, the Microsoft shopping tools focus on the price aspect. Microsoft has partnered with various US retailers with existing price-match policies, ensuring that users get the best value for their money. Even after a purchase, the feature continues to monitor the item’s price and helps users request a match if the price of the item drops. Moreover, price comparison and history features have been integrated into the Edge browser, with online coupons and cash-back offers applied automatically. The Edge sidebar also stores your shipping confirmation and tracking number information, removing the need to search for it in your email inbox. These features are already available in select markets, with plans for further expansion.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s AI-powered shopping tools represent a significant step forward in the world of online retail. By leveraging AI, Bing and Edge are enhancing the user experience and reshaping the future of e-commerce. As a digital marketing agency, we must understand and leverage these advancements to create more engaging and effective strategies for our clients. Integrating AI into shopping tools is just the beginning, and we look forward to seeing how this technology continues to transform the digital marketplace.

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