Amazon has launched a new tool for recommending furniture and home decor called Scout. We first saw the tool live on Amazon last night.
The tool, located at amazon.com/scout, prompts visitors to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” various suggested items from the furniture, home decor, lighting, kitchen, patio, and bedding categories. As a visitor rates items, some items are removed and new items (presumably more likely appealing to the visitor) replace them.
- The UI is very simple, but we assume there is sophisticated technology being tested behind the scenes, as Amazon is likely investing in new ML services to improve its personalization and recommendation algorithms. We believe automated personalization is an area in which Amazon can improve significantly through further R&D.
- Another opportunity for Amazon amongst certain customer segments would be human personalization, a la StitchFix. Amazon has not invested heavily in this area, but has created a little-known tool called Outfit Compare, in which customers can upload photos of themselves and get someone at Amazon’s opinion of which looks better.
- We would assume this tool could be applied to other product categories as well, particularly those that lend themselves to visual feedback. (Update: it sounds like Amazon is testing this in the women’s shoes category as well.)