Amazon shopping test recommends products based on your likes

Scout gives you shopping ideas when you're not sure what you want.

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Jon Fingas
September 19, 2018 2:51 PM
Jon Fingas/Engadget
Jon Fingas/Engadget

Online stores have a common problem: you usually get recommendations based solely on what you've already seen or bought, which isn't much good if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. Amazon is testing a solution that might eliminate that indecisiveness. Its experimental Scout feature recommends products based on little more than like and dislike buttons below product images. If you give the thumbs-up to modern table lamps, you may be shown more cutting-edge designs and fewer vintage models.

The Scout site only covers a handful of categories at the moment. Most of it involves decor and furniture, such as tables, vases and lighting. You'll also find bedding, dinnerware and women's shoes. Amazon is promising more categories in the future, so don't despair if you're unsure about toys or handbags.

It's not certain when Scout premiered. We've asked Amazon for clarification, although internet archiving suggests Scout has been active for a few weeks. It won't be surprising if it becomes more prominent, though. Amazon offers a massive number of products both itself and through third parties (564 million as of January 2018), and it can be difficult to find the perfect item when it's buried under several pages of search results. This may surface products that would otherwise go unsold, helping you as well as Amazon and its partners.

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