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Ssense Launches an AI-Based Personal Styling Chatbot

A screen capture shows Ssense's chatbot responding to a user question about “cool, luxury streetwear-inspired outfits” in neutral colours.
Ssense's new chatbot. (Ssense)

Ssense has a new generative-AI chatbot to help users with their styling and shopping questions, but unlike other AI chatbots launched by big fashion retailers, this one integrates directly into ChatGPT.

Paying users of ChatGPT Plus, the more powerful subscription-based version of OpenAI’s text-based AI tool, are able to download a plug-in from the Montreal-based online retailer in OpenAI’s store. Ssense’s chatbot uses a mix of OpenAI’s technology and proprietary AI models to let shoppers ask questions and get responses with links to products from its catalogue.

In an example included in a release, a shopper asks for recommendations for “cool, luxury streetwear-inspired outfits” in neutral colours. The chatbot suggests items such as a beige long-sleeve T-shirt from Acne, beige wide-leg cargo pants by Coperni and other products it says can be mixed and matched. Ssense’s chatbot is available via a plug-in that ChatGPT Plus subscribers can download from the OpenAI plug-in store.

The company started experimenting using ChatGPT as a stylist on its Instagram account earlier this year and joins a host of others including Shopify, Mercari, Zalando and KXNT — an online shop operated by Kering — exploring generative-AI chatbots as a way to improve the online shopping experience. The hope is that their language abilities can let retailers provide shoppers more guidance as they search, in a conversational interface that can understand their questions and offer appropriate answers, like a human sales associate.

BoF’s testing of these shopping assistants has found they’re leaps ahead of earlier generations of chatbots that could only reply with scripted responses, though they still have much room for improvement. The expectation, however, is that they’ll continue to improve as generative AI advances.

Learn more:

Case Study | The Complete Playbook for Generative AI in Fashion

From ChatGPT to Midjourney to Runway, the emerging technology is already showing why it could be one of the most consequential in decades for the fashion industry. Early adopters and experts unpack the opportunities and challenges of putting gen AI to use to design products, create campaigns and other content, and better connect with customers.

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