We’d all love to automate more tasks in our retail businesses, especially when there’s so much for us to do each day! Well there’s a new type of software on the scene that some retailers are finding helpful for writing-related tasks. It’s artificial intelligence software, particularly chat textbots like ChatGPT. 

You’ve probably heard the buzz around these softwares! Let’s take a look at what AI software can do for your retail business, how to use them effectively, and what we can expect as artificial intelligence continues to develop.

What is AI?

AI is artificial intelligence. AI is a technology that mimics human intelligence to perform tasks. For instance, tasks that once required human input, such as communicating with customers online (you know those webchats that send you in circles and drive you crazy?) or playing chess.

According to Investopedia, “Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.”

The main goal of AI is to mimic human cognitive activity as closely as possible.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a type of AI that can understand and generate natural language text. Essentially, it’s an intelligent chatbot that helps automate chat-related tasks.

And if you’re wondering, ​​ChatGPT is an acronym for “Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.” Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie to me!

Needless to say, there are a lot of mixed feelings on this subject. I even recently saw an article where the title referred to ChatGPT as evil! As with anything new, people can and will use it unethically.

However, I have seen small business owners, including retailers, using it in their businesses and sharing how helpful it is!

 Potential Ways to Use ChatGPT for Your Retail Business:

  • Generate new content ideas for your social media, blog, or newsletter
  • Quickly write product descriptions
  • Write SEO meta descriptions
  • Save time by shortening or outlining your content writing process
  • Edit content to improve its overall readability, tone of voice, and engagement

 The Drawbacks of Using Chat GPT:

  • The information might be inaccurate. Fact check first!
  • Google is less likely to rank it high in search engine results because it’s NOT original content
  • You could be sharing plagiarized content, so always add your unique take FIRST. Remember, ChatGPT is just recycling and rewording what’s already on the internet.
  • Selling means providing value. The best way to do this is to be unique and YOU! ChatGPT can be helpful, but it can’t replace what makes you and your business stand out. 

How to Use ChatGPT in Your Retail Business

A few months ago, I decided to do some searches in ChatGPT to see how it worked. And I’ll admit, it’s eerie and incredibly FAST.

Here’s the prompt I entered into ChatGPT: “How to make an independent retail store profitable?”

ChatGPT responded with eight bullet points: 

  1. Offer Unique Products: Offer unique and high-quality products that are not easily available in the market. This will help you attract customers and stand out from the competition.
  2. Conduct Market Research: Study your target audience and their needs to stock the products that they are most likely to buy.
  3. Manage Inventory Effectively: Keep track of your inventory levels, and make sure to stock products that are in high demand while avoiding overstocking.
  4. Implement Effective Pricing Strategies: Offer competitive prices and consider running sales and promotions to attract customers and increase sales.
  5. Improve Customer Experience: Offer excellent customer service, create a welcoming and attractive store atmosphere, and make it easy for customers to shop and purchase products.
  6. Use Digital Marketing: Utilize social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing channels to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
  7. Seek Feedback and Make Adjustments: Regularly ask for customer feedback and make adjustments to your business strategies based on the feedback received.
  8. Seek Out Partnerships and Collaborations: Partner with other businesses and organizations to expand your reach and increase your exposure to new customers.

So, yes it does answer the question— but it’s very surface level. It’s not a detailed how-to guide, which is what retailers often struggle finding via Google searches anyhow. 

Basically, I wouldn’t count on ChatGPT for fixing issues, holes, or gaps in your retail business!

How AI Software is Helping Retail Business Owners

So how can AI software help retail store owners? One of the best examples is from Shopify. Their new AI tool, Shopify Magic, can create product descriptions. It’s blowing some shopkeepers away! 

When announcing the new tool, Shopify said, “high-quality, compelling product descriptions can now be created in seconds, helping you save time, sell more, and get your products in front of even more shoppers.”

Product descriptions might seem simple, but lots of store owners struggle writing them. And I get it! When you have hundreds or thousands of skus, the last thing you want to do is to get creative with writing. 

According to Shopify, though, it’s worth having product descriptions. Here’s why:

“Did you know that across all Shopify stores, there are millions of products for sale that don’t even have a description? 

Product descriptions play a critical role in the decision-making process for customers, and improving your descriptions can help drive traffic to your site and increase conversions.

No matter how many products you offer, you now have a built-in wordsmith in your admin, giving you more time to focus on running your business.” 

Who can argue with that?!

One Master Shopkeepers member has been using Shopify Magic and posted this in the group:

“OMGOSH Y’AALLLLL! Have you tried the AI description writer on Shopify yet? It’s really good! ….You put in a couple words, decide what writing style you want (persuasive, formal, etc) and whammo, bammo you have a really good description!…Sometimes I had to edit a few words here and there, but overall, it was excellent. And waaaay faster than me trying to do them.”

What’s Next for AI Tools?

ChatGPT and Shopify Magic are just two tools using AI, but there are many more on the way!

OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, just announced GPT-4. 

The New York Times describes the latest GPT by saying, “GPT-4 learns its skills by analyzing huge amounts of data culled from the internet, improves on what powered the original ChatGPT in several ways. It is more precise. It can, for example, ace the Uniform Bar Exam, instantly calculate someone’s tax liability and provide detailed descriptions of images.”

All I can say is, whoa. I’m not even sure I can wrap my brain around it all. 

I am curious to see what else results from all of this though. Now if only AI could help all of us indie retailers with entering products into our systems, right?! 😉

How are you using AI tools in your retail business? Send me a message on Instagram and let me know!

Resources

Timestamps

  • [01:42] What is AI?
  • [03:14] What is ChatGPT?
  • [08:21] How to Use ChatGPT in Your Retail Business
  • [10:21] How AI Software is Helping Retail Business Owners
  • [14:02] What’s Next for AI Tools?

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