Singapore-based e-commerce operator Lazada Group has released LazzieChat, the first eCommerce artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot of its kind in Southeast Asia powered by OpenAI ChatGPT technology in Azure OpenAI Service.

LazzieChat can answer users’ shopping queries on the Lazada platform to provide an engaging, informed and personalized shopping experience, Lazada said in a statement on Thursday.

It said LazzieChat elevates shopping experiences on Lazada by offering personalized suggestions and product recommendations based on users’ queries.

“Lazada is one of the first Southeast Asian eCommerce companies to integrate ChatGPT in Azure OpenAI Service into our chatbot,

“We are pleased to provide our users with LazzieChat as part of our continuous investment in technology to build a high-quality digital ecosystem that is set up for long-term growth,” said Howard Wang, Chief Technology Officer, Lazada Group.

According to him, online shopping journeys are becoming more dynamic with the help of technology.

“We want to bridge the gap between offline and online shopping by providing high-quality experiences that consumers love, and create value for brands and sellers who can tap into new technologies to reach out to a wider audience,

“We are confident AI will drive new developments in making online shopping and selling a seamless daily activity for everyone,” he added.

Diomedes Kastanis, Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft in Asia Pacific of LazzieChat, said by combining the scale and power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service with the breadth of Lazada’s consumer reach, this collaboration will transform the shopping journey for Lazada’s customers, sellers, and brands.

“We’re excited to help Lazada welcome a new era of retail innovation with Microsoft Cloud,

“By adopting artificial intelligence, Lazada will deliver personalized recommendations, enhance the customer experience, provide faster customer assistance, and transform the buying experience in Asia Pacific (APAC),” he added.

According to the statement, LazzieChat is especially useful for fast-moving consumer goods categories such as fashion and beauty which are among the top items purchased on Lazada.

Brands and sellers on the Lazada platform can also benefit from LazzieChat as it helps increase product visibility, and is available around the clock. LazzieChat leverages Lazada’s own AI technology and platform, complemented by the natural language capabilities of Azure OpenAI Service.

It can understand and respond to queries in a natural manner, and suggest relevant products or topics that may interest the user.

It can also look up product descriptions and link products available on Lazada directly in the chat console so users can be informed and shop quickly and conveniently with confidence.

Named after Lazada’s friendly lion mascot, Lazzie, LazzieChat is available in English in Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia markets, with the latter also receiving a Bahasa Indonesia version. More languages will be rolled out in due course.

LazzieChat can be accessed by swiping down on the Lazada app homepage.

While LazzieChat’s algorithms adhere to Lazada’s trust and safety policies, Lazada also recognizes that there are challenges that come along with the ongoing development of natural language chatbots.

Lazada is continuously optimizing LazzieChat’s algorithms to recognize inappropriate content so it can respond accordingly and responsibly to user queries.

It said LazzieChat’s AI is always learning and will keep improving as user interaction increases.

Lazada Group is Southeast Asia’s pioneer eCommerce platform. For the last 11 years, the firm has been accelerating progress in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam through commerce and technology.

Its local ecosystem links about 160 million active users to more than one million actively-selling sellers every month.

With a vision to achieve $100 billion annual gross merchandise value (GMV), Lazada aims to serve 300 million shoppers by 2030, and be the best at enabling brands and sellers in digitalizing their businesses.

UOB partners Lazada for enhanced payments and financial services in Southeast Asia