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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

On Amazon Scout for Product Discovery

Did lots of work with systems that would search for items in stores.    Here the next step.   Is this search in a virtual space?   And what other kinds of curation of the search is also at play?

Is Amazon on the right path to improved product discovery with Scout?
by Ken Lonyai in Retailwire

Jeff Bezos has said, “To invent you have to experiment and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” By that definition, Amazon Scout is an enormous experiment. 

Scout (amazon.com/scout) is a new visual search engine within Amazon. It’s aimed at categories where visual appeal is a big part of shoppers’ selection criteria, so furniture, women’s shoes and lighting are early subjects. Shoppers choose a product subcategory and then give a thumbs up or down to each image. It seems like a simple and intuitive method of culling preferred items from a list of possibilities, but without a rework, I believe it will be a failed experiment. 

The system utilizes machine learning to make replacements to the displayed assortment based on similarities or contrasts to the user-ranked item. The more rankings, the more tuned the selection until, in theory, the product choices displayed are largely purchase candidate items that meet the shopper’s desires. .... " 

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