Mercari, the online marketplace that connects millions of people across the U.S. to shop and sell items that are no longer being used, today announced the beta launch of Merchat AI, a new conversational shopping assistant powered by ChatGPT. In addition to searching for and browsing secondhand items, customers can now engage in real-time conversations with Merchat AI to discover product recommendations based on their unique needs. This new artificial intelligence tool leverages the large language model, ChatGPT, and combs through the millions of items listed on Mercari’s platform in seconds, surfacing real-time recommendations based on the chat prompts given.
“Merchat AI marks an exciting turning point in the evolution of secondhand shopping,” said John Lagerling, Mercari U.S. CEO. “With this technology, we’re leveraging the transformative power of artificial intelligence to make it easier for Americans to shop and explore Mercari’s extensive marketplace. We anticipate that generative AI will also unlock more opportunities to iterate on our customer experience, along with additional ways to make the resale experience even more appealing to buyers and sellers.”
To experience the benefits of Merchat AI, customers can log on to www.mercari.com/merchat and engage in natural conversation, which will be similar to interactions between a customer and a store associate. In turn, Merchat AI will ask questions to better understand a customer’s particular needs such as brand, color and style. Once Merchat AI has enough information, it will scan the Mercari marketplace and populate a series of recommendations based on the prompts given. Customers can then click on the product links given to purchase an item or ask the shopping assistant to provide more options. Some exploratory uses for Merchat AI include:
- Finding one-of-a-kind gifts for the people you care about. Try: “What should I buy my mom for Mother’s Day?”
- Searching for the best-and most affordable-item to score the latest trend. Try: “How can I add #BarbieCore to my wardrobe?”
- Looking for a specific item or hard-to-find collectible that is sold out in stores. Try: “Find me a large turquoise ombré tumbler.”
- Styling for every occasion. Try: “What should I wear to a summer wedding?”
- Discovering home decor items that reflect a specific style. Try: “What home decor items do I need to create a mid-century modern living room?”
Merchat AI is now available nationwide to Mercari users on the web and is still a beta experience. In these early stages, there may be some inaccuracies and inconsistencies in Merchat AI conversations and search results. Mercari will continuously update Merchat AI based on user interactions and is committed to iterating on the experience to improve this offering over time.