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Shopify Embraces Generative AI for Enhanced Merchant Experience


Shopify, following in the footsteps of several other prominent Big Tech brands, has taken a significant step forward in the realm of generative AI. During its bi-annual Editions conference, the e-commerce giant unveiled a range of expanded features under the umbrella of “Shopify Magic,” its comprehensive brand for generative AI solutions.

With the latest advancements, Shopify Magic now possesses the capability to provide personalized responses to customers based on their past conversations and store policies. It can also generate diverse content, including blog posts, product descriptions, and marketing emails. A new AI-powered tool called “Sidekick” functions like a chatbot, proficiently comprehending and interpreting business-related queries and prompts.

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Miqdad Jaffer, Shopify’s head of product for AI, emphasized the company’s commitment to keeping its businesses at the forefront of technology. He explained that the enhanced capabilities of Shopify Magic are fueled by a combination of proprietary Shopify data, encompassing merchant business data, and large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The architecture ensures that data and conversations remain private and are not shared with third parties.

Shopify Sidekick

With the aid of this data and cutting-edge models, Shopify Magic can now create tailored blog posts for various events like holidays, business milestones, and marketing campaigns. Merchants can customize the tone and even translate content into multiple languages. Moreover, the tool enables automatic content generation for customer emails, weekly newsletters, and announcements, based on brief prompts.

Addressing concerns about LLMs producing false, biased, or toxic content, Jaffer assured that Shopify merchants have the opportunity to review content generated by Shopify Magic before it goes live. Additionally, to enhance safety measures, Shopify’s AI features are strictly prohibited from making changes to any of the live production systems.

The star of the show, however, is Shopify’s latest creation, “Sidekick,” a conversational AI assistant that possesses comprehensive knowledge about all aspects of Shopify. Sidekick is capable of understanding queries such as “How do I set up a discount for a holiday sale?” or “Help me segment my customers for better marketing engagement.” It can perform various tasks, including summarizing information from sales documents and conducting basic product research. Merchants can even instruct Sidekick to complete specific tasks, such as generating reports on their best-selling products or guiding them through email campaign orchestration.

Moreover, Sidekick can suggest modifications to Shopify merchant shop designs, such as adding product collections to the home page or providing themes and copy ideas for a hero banner. In a demonstration video shared by Shopify’s co-founder and CEO, Tobi L├╝tke, Sidekick adeptly responds to a snowsports supply merchant’s questions, indicating potential reasons for decreased sales and even suggesting an automatic 10% discount on all products to boost sales.

Shopify Sidekick

Overall, Sidekick appears to be a specialized version of ChatGPT, fine-tuned for e-commerce applications. Jaffer emphasized that AI features like Sidekick are continually evolving to meet the unique needs of Shopify merchants. By empowering businesses of all sizes with accessible AI capabilities, Shopify aims to contribute to the growth and success of entrepreneurs in the digital landscape.