Microsoft today announced a slew of new AI-powered shopping tools for its new Bing search engine and the Bing AI chatbot in the Edge sidebar. While a lot of the shopping features that Microsoft built into Edge over the years aren’t exactly fan favorites, this new set of tools actually looks useful.
Microsoft will now, for example, use Bing’s GPT-powered AI capabilities to automatically generate buying guides when you use a query like “college supplies.” It will automatically aggregate products in each category it comes up with, list their specs so you can compare similar items and, of course, tell you where to buy them (with Microsoft getting an affiliate fee when you buy).
Given that there is an entire ecosystem of sites that focus on these kinds of buying guides, it will be interesting to see how they will react to this change (and if Microsoft is doing this in Bing, Google and others will surely follow suit). Nobody is going to bemoan the end of the low-quality, SEO-optimized shopping content you often find when you try to compare different products, but this has the potential to hurt legitimate editorial operations, too.
The new buying guides in Bing are now available in the U.S. and the worldwide rollout for buying guides in Edge is starting today.
Another new feature Microsoft is launching worldwide today is AI-generated review summaries. As the name implies, this feature sums up online reviews of products. To use this, you simply ask Bing Chat in Edge to summarize what people are saying about a given product and it will generate a quick overview for you.
Also new is Price Match, a tool that will help you request a price match from a retailer, even after the price drops. “We’ve partnered with top U.S. retailers with existing price match policies and will be adding more over time,” Microsoft says (though it didn’t specify which retailers it is working with).