Shopify launches first AI commerce assistant

A customer being served.

Shopify launches first AI commerce assistant Duncan is an award-winning researcher, with 20 years experience of analysing the technology industry, specialising in cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, cybersecurity and marketing technology.

Shopify, a provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce, has made more than 100 updates as part of its Summer ‘23 Edition, the twice-annual showcase of its latest products and innovations.

These updates include Sidekick, a new first-of-its-kind AI-enabled commerce assistant for business owners on Shopify, and aim to allow its merchants to be more productive, creative, and powerful than ever before — ushering in a new era of commerce full of brand new possibilities.

The Magic of AI in the hands of entrepreneurs 

Advancements in AI are accelerating the pace of change all around. Already, AI is changing how customers shop and businesses operate. Shopify sees massive upsides to AI in the hands of business owners from entrepreneur to enterprise, and is filling this unmet need with infinite potential. 

Advancements in AI are accelerating the pace of change all around us. Already, AI is changing how customers shop and businesses operate. We see massive upsides to AI in the hands of business owners from entrepreneur to enterprise, and we’re filling this unmet need with infinite potential. 

Tobi Lütke, founder and CEO of Shopify, said: “I can’t actually think of any corner of the internet that will benefit more from AI than the pursuit of people building and growing their own businesses. I’ve been part of the technology industry since the mid-nineties. I have never seen anything like AI. This will be an unbelievable boon to entrepreneurship.”

Sidekick is a first-of-its-kind AI-enabled commerce assistant for business owners on Shopify. It is purpose-built to be able to answer all of their questions as they start and scale their business.

Business owners, no matter their expertise, can have a conversation with their Sidekick to jumpstart the creative process, improve the quality of their store, increase productivity, streamline workflow, and make smarter business decisions.

Merchants can task Sidekick with things like:

  • “Set up a discount for my holiday sale.”
  • “Help redesign my store to feel more like summer.”
  • “What are my best-selling products?”
  • “Walk me through a tutorial on preparing an email campaign.”

Sidekick, which will be available in early access soon, is the centrepiece of Shopify Magic: a suite of AI-enabled features integrated across our platform, specifically designed for commerce. Shopify Magic combines the latest AI technology with our platform’s data to help millions of businesses work faster, smarter, and more creatively.

Summer ‘23 Edition is also unveiling nine new Shopify Magic features, including: 

  • FAQ and response recommendations personalised for a merchant’s store. Shopify Magic drafts custom replies for a business’s most common customer questions, and a merchant can review, edit, and publish those answers via Shopify Inbox. Those answers are then automatically shared with customers who ask questions, instead of needing to respond in real-time.
  • Instantly generated blog posts for any holiday, business milestone, or campaign idea, with the ability to customise tone of voice and quickly translate content into different languages.
  • Instantly generated emails built for commerce with compelling subject lines, engaging content, and recommended send time for optimal performance.
  • Read about the rest here.

By integrating AI into its backend, Shopify is keeping businesses on the cutting edge and helping them thrive in today’s competitive market. 

One such business seeing the benefits of Shopify Magic when adding new products to their shop – saving both time and money – is Glitch Anomaly, a UK-based lifestyle brand specialising in sustainable and eco-friendly premium menswear.

Kwame Chambers, CEO & co-founder of Glitch Anomaly, explained: “I use it to write product descriptions by inputting desirable keywords for SEO optimisation and accurate product descriptions. If the first output is not desirable, then I ‘regenerate’ or ‘rephrase’, or change the tone depending on the product, in less than one minute. As an independent brand, this is major for us in terms of survival and growth. The feature is intuitive and effective – it’s a game changer.”

Sell on many marketplaces — all from within Shopify

As merchants grow their businesses, they also grow the number of platforms they use to sell products. 42% of online sellers operate through four or more marketplaces.

Managing these additional sales channels adds complexity, and merchants often need separate business processes or apps for each marketplace to handle orders, fulfilment, inventory, and product listings.

That’s why Shopify is launching Marketplace Connect: a single app for merchants to sell on all the biggest marketplaces — like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart — while connecting, managing, and fulfilling every order directly from within Shopify.

Marketplace Connect is an all-in-one solution that allows merchants to reach millions of new customers, and streamline business operations. This app is now available to all merchants everywhere, starting today.

The world’s best Checkout just got better

Shopify Checkout is the best in the world, and recent data from a Big 3 global consulting firm confirms this. That study revealed that Shopify Checkout has a 15% higher conversion rate on average compared to other leading commerce platforms.

Shopify’s Checkout has processed over half a trillion dollars of sales, and supported 561 million online shoppers in 2022 alone. With this unmatched volume of data, Shopify gains powerful insights to improve its checkout at an amazing pace.

For Summer ’23 Edition, Shopify is doubling down on checkout extensibility with 17 new APIs and updates that enable partners and developers to create unique checkout experiences with apps, and manage them right from within the checkout editor. 

If, for example, you wanted to offer customised delivery options, now Checkout can be modified to include things like pickup points, delivery dates, and suggested addresses. This is just one category example of the many that these new APIs enable.

Introducing Shopify Credit & Shopify Collective

Also being announced today for Shopify merchants in the US is: 

  • Shopify Credit: a zero-fee business credit card* with up to 3% cash back designed exclusively for Shopify merchants. Built-in partnership with Stripe** and accepted everywhere Visa is. 
  • Shopify Collective: allows merchants to cross-sell from their own storefront, adding new products to their store from other Shopify merchants without buying inventory or finding new suppliers, and earn a margin on each sale. 

Deann Evans, MD, EMEA at Shopify., said: “These announcements, along with 100+ others announced in Shopify’s Summer ’23 Edition, bring to life opportunities that both entrepreneurs and enterprises have previously only dreamt of.

“In this new era of commerce, AI helps people create businesses faster than ever before; shopping is available everywhere, anywhere, and always; and the pain points of running a business hurt way less because of our products. This is commerce, re-imagined.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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