“This is a new way to shop, allowing customers to browse millions of items and quickly refine the selection based solely on visual attributes,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Amazon uses imagery from across its robust selection to extract thousands of visual attributes for showing customers a variety of items so they can select their preferences as they go.”
The news sent online furniture sales site Wayfair’s shares down 4 percent to $136.93 in midday trading.
Amazon hasn’t started promoting the service yet, though some shoppers may find themselves stumbling upon it in various categories. Under select listings, they may see a grey box that says “SCOUT | Style explorer,” which takes them to the site. Or if they’re on a general Amazon page looking for light fixtures, the link for Scout is on the bar at the top, in between “Shop by Room” and “Shop by Style.”
When you arrive at the page, a blue box says, “start liking now.”
It’s the latest step in Amazon’s effort to move consumers away from a world of traditional search while collecting more data on their habits and preferences. The company’s Echo home assistant, powered by Alexa, lets people shop by voice, looking for discounts or buying things again from a prior order.