Shopping Muse: AI-Powered Personalized Gift Recommendations

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many consumers are looking for the best gifts for their loved ones. But finding the right gift can be a daunting and time-consuming task, especially when faced with endless choices and limited information. That’s perhaps why Mastercard has decided to launch Shopping Muse, a new service that uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized and curated gift recommendations based on the recipient’s preferences, personality, and interests.

The Power of Dynamic Yield

Shopping Muse is powered by Dynamic Yield, a personalization platform and decision engine that Mastercard acquired from McDonald’s in April 2022. Dynamic Yield helps more than 400 brands across various industries deliver individualized product recommendations, offers, and content based on a range of factors, such as past purchases, page views, customer affinity profile information, and AI algorithms.

Shopping Muse is the first consumer-facing application of Dynamic Yield by Mastercard, and it aims to change the online shopping experience by offering a more engaging and convenient way to discover and buy gifts. Shopping Muse is currently available as a web app that can be accessed through any browser or device.

The AI-Powered Shopping Experience

Users can start by entering the name and email address of the recipient they want to buy a gift for, and then answer a few questions about their relationship, occasion, budget, and preferred delivery method. Based on the answers, Shopping Muse will generate a unique profile for the recipient, and use AI to analyze millions of products from thousands of online retailers to find the most suitable gift options.

Users can also provide additional information, such as the recipient’s hobbies, favorite brands, style, and personality traits, to further refine the results. The AI chatbot will then present a curated list of gift ideas, along with the reasons why they were selected, the price, the rating, the availability, and the link to the retailer’s website.

Users can browse through the suggestions, compare them, save them for later, or purchase them directly from the app. Shopping Muse also allows users to share their gift lists with friends and family, and get feedback and suggestions from them. Users can also invite others to join the service and create their own profiles, so that they can receive personalized gift recommendations from the app as well.

The shopping service is designed to be a smart and intuitive chat assistant that learns from the user’s behavior and feedback and continuously improves its recommendations over time. It also adapts to the changing preferences and needs of the recipients and updates the gift suggestions accordingly.

According to Mastercard, Shopping Muse offers several benefits for both consumers and retailers, such as:

  • Personalized and curated gift recommendations
  • Engaging and convenient shopping experience
  • Access to a wide range of online retailers
  • Ability to share gift lists and receive feedback
  • Continuous improvement and adaptation

Mastercard plans to eventually expand the service to more markets, languages, and categories, and to integrate it with its other products and services, such as its loyalty platform SessionM and its experimentation software Test & Learn. The product is part of Mastercard’s broader strategy to leverage its data and services capabilities to provide more value beyond the transaction and to help its customers and partners grow their businesses, engage their consumers, and make smarter decisions with better outcomes across the enterprise.

Shopping Muse is also an example of how AI is transforming the retail industry and how it can create new opportunities and challenges for both consumers and retailers. According to a Gartner report, by 2025, 80% of customer interactions will be managed by AI. A recent McKinsey report similarly predicts that AI will create $400-660 billion in value for the retail industry.

However, AI also poses some ethical and social issues, such as privacy, security, transparency, accountability, and bias, that need to be addressed and regulated. For instance, how can consumers trust that the AI recommendations are not influenced by the retailers’ interests or incentives? How can consumers control and protect their personal data and preferences? These are some of the questions that Mastercard and other AI players in the retail space will have to answer and resolve in the coming years.

Shopping Muse is not the only AI-powered gift recommendation service on the market. There are other competitors, such as AI, the AI shopping assistant by Shopify; Claros, the Amazon shopping assistant; and, the AI shopping assistant that offers category-based search and detailed product recommendations. However, Shopping Muse claims to have some unique advantages, such as:

  • Deep personalization based on recipient’s preferences and interests
  • Comprehensive analysis of millions of products
  • Curated gift ideas with detailed information
  • Intuitive and adaptive AI chat assistant
  • Ability to share gift lists and receive feedback

In short, Shopping Muse is an ambitious and innovative project that aims to redefine the online gift shopping experience and to create a new standard for personalization and customer engagement in the retail industry. Whether it will succeed or not remains to be seen, but it is certainly a service worth watching and trying out.

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