At the Google Cloud Next conference, eBay introduced a new personal shopping chatbot, or “shopbot,” for the Google Home speaker that can tell people how much their possessions could be worth.
At the event, Google announced that eBay is now a Google Cloud Platform user. The online marketplace has been a longtime Microsoft Azure customer. Companies sometimes use multiple cloud providers, and it’s not yet clear how much of eBay’s cloud business is going to Google Cloud.
In a demonstration of the new tool during a keynote address, RJ Pittman, eBay’s chief product officer, asked Google Home to talk to eBay. Pittman then told the eBay chatbot that he had a Canon camera, and after a brief conversation of specifics, the chatbot came up with a value for the camera.
Pittman said this technology could help bring more sellers to eBay because it will show some people that they have some pretty valuable things just laying around the house.
“When technology can start doing the heavy lifting and providing you with a concierge-like personalized service, then that’s when we’ve really made great strides,” Pittman said.
Pittman added that it took eBay about five months to migrate its data to Google Cloud, and only another five days to integrate its chatbot with Google Home.
Google Home is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Alexa-powered catalog of devices. And while Amazon is the leader in voice commands at this stage — Alexa has amassed over 10,000 skills — Google is looking to leverage its vast ecosystem and search power to catch up.
The three-day event gives Google’s top executives a platform to unveil their latest cloud initiatives and make the case for big businesses to choose Google’s cloud over Microsoft Azure, public cloud leader Amazon Web Services and other competing cloud providers. The conference’s first keynote focused on Google’s security and reliability, and anecdotes from other Google Cloud customers like Disney, SAP, Colgate Palmolive, Home Depot, Verizon and HSBC.
Here is the demo of the shopbot from Wednesday’s keynote: