Microsoft adds new AI-powered shopping tools to Bing and Edge
Microsoft today announced a slew of AI-powered shopping tools for Bing and the Bing AI chatbot within the Edge sidebar. These new tools include a handy Buying Guide, Price Match features, and summarised reviews. It will be interesting to observe how these new features are embraced — or not — by consumers and digital marketers alike.
Microsoft is introducing AI-generated Buying Guides across Bing and Edge, along with review summaries and a Price Match feature in the United States. Users can easily access the AI-generated Buying Guides through the Edge sidebar and the Bing chatbot. To begin, simply type the desired purchase into the search box, and Microsoft’s AI will come up with near-instant research on the relevant products and provide concise summaries placed within a neat comparison table.
Of course, Microsoft’s shopping tools aim to solve common challenges encountered by online shoppers, such as finding valid deals, identifying reliable product reviews, and navigating through a wide range of product options. These tools are designed to enhance the overall shopping experience and make it easier for users to overcome these obstacles.
“Today, we’re excited to announce new Microsoft Shopping tools in Bing and Edge that help you shop and save with confidence, harnessing the power of AI to make it easier to discover, research, and complete your purchase, all in one place with information you need from expert sources.”
Let’s explore the three key areas where AI will now play a role for Bing and Edge users doing online shopping — Buying Guide, Summarised Reviews, and Price Match:
Based on your input keywords, the AI will generate detailed buying guides and curated lists that match your specific needs. When shopping online, it can be challenging to find a wide range of products that meet your requirements. With countless options available at various price points, it can feel overwhelming to narrow down your choices.
For instance, if you type a query like “Tour de France winning bicycle” into Bing’s search box, the tool will automatically produce a personalised buying guide for each category. It also provides recommendations and specifications, allowing you to compare them with similar items. Additionally, it will guide you on where to make the purchase, with Microsoft receiving an affiliate fee from the transaction. The tech giant plans to expand this feature to other markets gradually.
You can also view side-by-side comparisons of similar products to make more informed purchasing decisions. This functionality is currently accessible in the United States through both the Bing sidebar and Edge Chat. The global rollout of this feature has already begun, and it is expected to reach more regions in the near future. You can access this feature through your PC and mobile devices as well.
Summarised Reviews and “Insights”
Another feature (already globally available) is the review summary tool. As the name suggests, this tool provides concise summaries of online product reviews. Simply ask Bing Chat in Edge to summarise the opinions of people regarding a specific product, and it will generate a quick overview for you. For instance, if you’re in search of a smart speaker, you can open Bing Chat in the Edge sidebar, and Bing will suggest important aspects to consider, such as budget, sound quality, and device compatibility, all within the search. A summary will also be provided regarding what people are saying about the particular product you’ve chosen.
Additionally, Microsoft has incorporated AI-powered package tracking, which conveniently keeps track of your purchases from the Edge sidebar. This eliminates the need to search through your inbox for shipping confirmations and tracking numbers. Microsoft states that you can rely on Bing Chat to receive AI-powered information about what to look for when selecting products, as well as summaries of online customer reviews.
Microsoft plans to introduce a Price Match feature in Bing and Edge for users in the United States. This feature will continuously monitor the price of an item, even after a purchase has been made, and assist users in requesting a match if the price drops. It ensures that users can secure the best possible deal for their desired products. The AI-powered system will track the product’s price and notify users if a better deal becomes available elsewhere for a similar item. Microsoft stated, “We’ve partnered with top US retailers with existing price match policies and will be adding more over time.”
The built-in browser features of ‘Price Comparison’ and ‘Price History’ work together to ensure users make their purchases at the right place and time. Furthermore, Edge simplifies the process by automatically applying coupons and cashback when shopping online, directly through Bing Chat. The ‘Package Tracking’ feature in Edge sidebar keeps users updated on their purchases, eliminating the need to search through their inbox for shipping confirmations and tracking numbers.
These new features from Microsoft Bing come at a time when competition in the AI-powered search space is intensifying, with Google also venturing into developing their own AI tools for online shopping. As both tech giants aim to enhance user experiences and cater to the evolving needs of online shoppers, it will be fascinating to witness the dynamic between Microsoft Bing and Google in this domain. With both platforms striving to deliver AI-driven solutions to simplify product research, comparison, and purchasing, users stand to benefit from the increased availability of intelligent tools that facilitate informed shopping.
Given that AI-generated product information slots directly in the search results, users may not visit individual product review websites as often. This could potentially reduce the organic traffic and visibility of those websites. Similarly, summarised reviews may mean fewer on individual review pages. SEO professionals may need to consider how to optimise for featured snippets and ensure their product information appears accurately in the AI-generated Buying Guides.
Microsoft will hope the tools entice users to their own platforms — in a way that boosts the company’s own revenue. Given the prevalence of price-comparison sites and buying guides already out there, it is going to be interesting to see how they will react to this change. Gains for Microsoft will mean a loss for so many others. SEO professionals will need to adapt their strategies accordingly. They may need to focus on creating unique and valuable content that goes beyond what the AI tools provide, as well as finding alternative ways to drive traffic and engagement to their websites.