Amazon Sellers: Do You Know What Project Nile is?

Plus new from AI Tech, Shopify, Meta and TikTok

Hey there! Happy Tuesday! Today’s main scoop is pretty big, particularly for all Amazon-selling folk. Read along…

Why are you reading this?

In this newsletter, I summarize the top AI ecommerce and Amazon developments so you can stay up-to-date in just a few minutes. I do the reading so you don't have to. Consider this your weekly AI ecommerce update to save you time while keeping you informed on what matters most.


  1. Amazon’s AI-Powered “Project Nile”

  2. AI Tech Will Change How We Interact With The World

  3. Meta’s Full AI Suite

  4. TikTok Has An AI Ads Assistant

Amazon’s “Project Nile” Will Rock Your Amazon Boat

Amazon is working on a groundbreaking AI initiative called Project Nile that aims to completely revamp its online search experience (I told you so…). Joseph Sirosh, former Microsoft AI executive and Amazon's VP, envisions the project as integrating a deeply knowledgeable in-store salesperson's expertise into Amazon's search function, catering to each shopper's unique preferences.

Key points:

  1. Objective: Project Nile's goal is to infuse Amazon's search bar with advanced AI capabilities, offering instant product comparisons, in-depth details, reviews, and recommendations based on search context and user shopping data.

  2. Functionality: With this new AI-powered search feature, when a customer queries, for instance, about coffee makers, it will proactively offer diverse options and details without the user having to click on each product individually. (That will definitely have an impact on CPCs, I hope but also on visibility)

  3. Implementation: Though initially scheduled for a September launch, it was postponed. However, internal tests are underway, and a potential release could be in January, focusing on the US market.

  4. Mobile First: Amazon sees an opportunity to significantly boost sales via mobile devices, given that nearly 80% of searches on Amazon come from mobile, yet it currently has a lower conversion rate than desktop.

  5. Comprehensive AI Strategy: Amazon is not limiting its AI endeavors to just Project Nile. The tech giant recently upgraded its Alexa voice assistant with enhanced AI and invested heavily in the generative AI space, reflecting its long-term commitment to AI innovation. (Read about that in last week’s edition)

  6. Challenges: Ensuring accurate search results is a paramount concern. Amazon plans to counteract any AI inaccuracies by using human AI trainers to review AI-generated answers and using moderation tools to handle sensitive queries.

What does this mean for ecommerce sellers?

The implications for Amazon sellers are pretty extensive- this new type of search seems to mimic more how users go about researching products on Google versus Amazon. It’s difficult to predict exactly how A9 would be re-geared but one thing will probably ring true: all of the semantic context of a product listing (i.e reviews, QAs, Product Description etc) will count even more as a way for Amazon to draw out “the best coffee machine for capsules” when a customer searches.

Another thing I ponder a lot about is how advertising will reshape. Of course, Amazon still has some “long-tail keywords” but they are still nothing in comparison to the ones you find in your Google Search reports. And so now with this new way of searching, would advertisers have more of these? And what would happen with CPCs and traffic?

Only time will tell, but this would be a pretty big shake-up for both sellers and consumers alike so stay tuned and think about your mobile-optimized product listing.

AI Tech Will Change How We Interact With The World

You probably have an iPhone or another smartphone. Probably a smart watch too. But have you thought of a world (in probably less than 10 years) where your iPhone 15 might seem to you like a Nokia 3310? Why? Because AI will probably completely reshuffle our day-to-day tech and Apple might no longer be at the innovation forefront. There are a lot of new players starting to shuffle:

  • OpenAI and Jony Ive: The two giants are collaborating on an AI-driven device with potential backing from SoftBank, rumored to be around $1B.

  • Humane's Personal Concierge: With a funding of over $230M, Humane is unveiling a wearable pin on 11/9 that intimately understands and assists its user.

  • Meta's Smart Glasses: In collaboration with Ray-Ban, Meta is offering AI-powered glasses that recognize visual elements and provide real-time answers.

What does this mean for ecommerce sellers?

This will not be just a change in the tech but a complete evolution in terms of how we interact with the world using tech. Which would then impact how we learn about the world, how we communicate, how we decide what and how to buy something etc etc.

Meta’s Full AI Suite

As mentioned in our previous issues, Meta is set to launch an AI assistant across its major platforms: WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. This initiative brings with it 28 distinct AI characters, some inspired by celebrities such as MrBeast and Charli D’Amelio. This general-purpose assistant will aid users in various tasks and offer real-time web results, due to Meta’s collaboration with Microsoft's Bing. An impressive feature is its ability to generate images, similar to OpenAI's DALL-E, granting users the capability to produce high-quality visuals.

The assistant's genesis is rooted in Llama 2, Meta's quasi-open source model, which has been making waves across various industries. To address the oft-criticized impersonal nature of AI, Meta has imbued its model with a more conversational and warm tone. This, combined with an expanded context window, promises richer user interactions. Each of the 28 AI characters boasts a unique interactive experience, animating in real-time for added engagement.

Though it doesn't currently tap into public Instagram and Facebook data, future iterations might, enhancing personalization.

What does this mean for ecommerce sellers?

Read that last sentence one more time…Although it doesn’t tap yet into your data, it most certainly will soon, given this is Meta we are talking about here. The more info Meta has on its users, their problems, and what they are interested in when interacting with these bots, the more data would Meta have to target ads.

TikTok’s AI Ad Assistant

TikTok has unveiled its "Creative Assistant," an AI-driven feature aimed at assisting marketers with their ad campaigns. This tool, embedded within TikTok's ad utilities, directs advertisers through the campaign creation by offering relevant examples, tools, and even sample ad scripts derived from TikTok's Creative Center.

In essence, the Creative Assistant acts as a refined portal to the existing Creative Center functionalities within the app. Though not entirely new, it promises a more intuitive user experience by directing advertisers to the appropriate sections with timely recommendations and scripts tailored to their campaigns.

Key features of the Creative Assistant:

  • Guidance on TikTok's best practices for ad creation.

  • Insights into top-performing ads specific to the user's niche.

  • Generation of ad scripts.

While tools like the ad script generator and top ads database have been part of TikTok's Creative Center since June and 2021 respectively, the Creative Assistant enhances accessibility, making each option more readily available.

What does this mean for ecommerce sellers?

For TikTok Ad pros this may be quite basic but for TikTok starters or self-doers, it might be a nifty little tool to help with the campaign setup process.

The Quick Read:

  • Google's latest "helpful content" update, aimed at improving search results, has sparked concern among website owners who witnessed drastic declines in traffic. This update emphasized AI-generated content quality, leading to human-authored content ranking lower. Despite Google’s assertion that the focus is on content quality, irrespective of its creation method, the rise of AI-generated content, often rehashing existing data, complicates the scenario.

  • ChatGPT "Browse with Bing" feature is back. I.E Internet is on AGAIN! Available to Plus and Enterprise users. The browsing speed is reported to be slow, but now users can finally cross-reference sources.

  • Shopify AI team has developed a demo of a background replacement tool using Stable Diffusion XL, enabling easy modification of existing product images for online stores.

  • Getty Images and Nvidia have introduced "Generative AI by Getty Images", a tool that lets users craft images from Getty's vast photo collection.

Today’s Event Spotlight:

Tune in Tomorrow, Wednesday, the 4th of October at 12:00pm EST for the latest “Lunch with Norm” episode where I will chat with Norm about all things AI and Amazon.

Watch it here

The Tools List:

MyAsk AI - Leverage AI capabilities in Slack combined with your Google Drive and Notion information.

Screenshot AI - AI organizes, understands, and makes all your screenshots searchable.

Semiform- Replace your forms with AI agents

What did you think of today’s email?