Online giant eBay is trialling its artificial intelligence-powered ShopBot on Facebook Messenger to give shoppers personal suggestions.

The ShopBot, described as a “smart personal shopping assistant” by the retailer, helps shoppers to find the best deals from eBay’s one billion listings.

It launched in beta on Facebook Messenger this week and will roll out to other messaging platforms.

The retailer said: “With more selection available to online shoppers than ever before, finding items that are perfect for you and your budget can be time-consuming. At eBay, our focus is to help shoppers find their version of perfect and simplify the shopping experience.”

Artificial intelligence provides contextual understanding, predictive modelling and machine-learning abilities, which, combined with eBay’s breadth of inventory, enables it to create a “radically better and more personal shopping experience”, according to the retailer.

EBay customers can text, talk or snap a picture on Messenger to tell the ShopBot what they are searching for and the bot will then ask questions to better understand their intent. It will then serve up personalised recommendations.

The retailer admitted that some searches will stump the ShopBot, but said that it will improve over time.

“The more that people use it, the smarter eBay ShopBot will get. We’re excited to continue iterating, while inviting our customers to help us shape the future of commerce,” the retailer said.