KICKS on creating a brand-new AI search engine using OpenAI ChatGPT
With the help of Microsoft, the retailer has developed what it describes as the customer experience of the future, focusing on answering questions instead of finding specific products.
20 Sep 2023

Only weeks after Matas Group’s completion of the acquisition of KICKS, the latter today innovates its online retail experience with the launch of Beauty Bot. With the help of Microsoft’s Open AI service Azure and ChatGPT, this innovative search engine enables customers to ask their beauty-related questions and the goal is that the experience shall be similar to as if they were communicating with a human expert.

— When OpenAI ChatGPT arrived, we quickly saw that it opened up new exciting opportunities for us, not least in our digital customer meeting. With Beauty Bot, our customers get a search experience that is more intuitive and guiding, and which is based on a huge knowledge bank about beauty products, says Carola Lundell (pictured), Executive Vice President, KICKS Group. 

This is the first-of-its-kind search engine on the Swedish market and functions as a compliment, not a replacement, to KICKS’ existing one. One highlight, the company shares, is its ability to both understand and interpret free text questions, even when they contain misspellings or are vaguely worded. Instead of just presenting the search results, the AI generates contextual answers that help customers solve their beauty-related problems. The search engine also has access to an extensive knowledge bank that spans the entire internet which of course also can help customers get answers to their questions. Not to mention being able to ask a thousand questions without feeling awkward.

A test period with customers from the retailer’s members club received praise, both for the product’s speed and accuracy with relevant answers. During the course of the project, Microsoft has supported with technical advice.

— The AI development that is taking place now means new opportunities for the whole society and this is a great example of how AI can be used to improve the customer experience, says Thomas Floberg, Vice President and Operations Manager at Microsoft Sweden.

Even though search engines have grown to become a crucial factor in today’s digital retail experience, the technology behind them has remained virtually unchanged for the past decade. 

— During our test period, we clearly saw that there is a need among our customers for a product that can answer more specific questions, something that a traditional search engine cannot. We also saw that those who use it spend a relatively large amount of time interacting with it, which is proof that they get value from the feature, says Oskar Wilhelmsson, Data Scientist at KICKS Group and the Bot creator.

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