Amazon is quietly killing a seriously useful feature designed to help shoppers save money. And we're just a few days away from the plug being pulled.
Say goodbye to the Amazon Assistant browser extension as it's being discontinued in just a couple of weeks.
A note on the Amazon Assistant landing page, and also visible on the extension itself, reads: “At Amazon, we’re always experimenting and evaluating the potential of our products. We have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Assistant on March 28, 2023.”
The message also apologizes for any inconvenience this decision may cause, and explains that any Amazon List created via Amazon Assistant will still be accessible beyond the extension’s shutdown date.
If you’ve never used Amazon Assistant, it is a pretty useful tool that works across browsers including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. While it offers multiple functions, its primary purpose is to facilitate quick price comparisons between Amazon and rival retailers.
So, for example, if you were shopping for an LG C2 OLED deal at Best Buy, you could bring up the Amazon Assistant extension to see if your selected model was cheaper at Amazon. You could also see its Amazon rating without needing to visit the site directly.
Plus, from the extension, you could instantly add the product to your cart or add it to an Amazon wishlist. The app would even offer a selection of additional products for you to consider instead.
Amazon Assistant has long been a useful way to ensure you’re not overpaying for an item when online shopping. And we also appreciated that Amazon opted not to lock it behind a Prime subscription. The Assistant extension was instead made available for free to anybody with an Amazon account. That is assuming of course you were comfortable giving Amazon access to your browser backend and search history.
No reason why
Amazon has not given a concrete reason for why the browser extension is being discontinued, but based on the wording within the announcement post we can assume it is primarily due to low user engagement.
Presumably, not enough people were using the feature to justify the maintenance required to keep it functioning smoothly and securely.
As of yet, there’s no indication that Amazon Assistant’s functionality will be rolled into another Amazon product, so for now, at least, it would seem that after March 28, comparing prices between Amazon and rival retailers will become a little more difficult. Fortunately, there are still several highly useful deal comparison websites out there such as Slickdeals.net. This third-party website can help you find the best price when shopping for in-demand items.