Shopify teases AI assistant for entrepreneurs, Sidekick

Shopify Sidekick teaser
Shopify said Sidekick can help with designing storefronts, developer documentation, economic trends analysis.

As the market applications for artificial intelligence (AI) continue to grow, Shopify has unveiled its own AI assistant for entrepreneurs, Sidekick.

Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke teased the company’s latest AI product on Twitter this week, noting that Sidekick is being built directly into Shopify’s platform to function as its namesake: acting as a sidekick for its merchants.

“Every entrepreneur has tons of questions. Sidekick will have the answers that are specific to your business. It is built for the purpose of helping you with your entrepreneurial journey,” Lütke said in a video. A spokesperson from Shopify told BetaKit, “Sidekick will be coming soon and will be available as a beta offering at this time.”

Sidekick will feature a variety of capabilities, according to Lütke. Along with providing detailed suggestions for question prompts, he said Sidekick can “take things off your to-do lists, and if you so choose, do them for you.”

Lütke listed some of Sidekick’s features, which include storefront design, developer documentation, and analyzing economic trends.

This AI assistant is Shopify’s latest effort in its broader AI play and its bet on the generative AI market that has dominated the tech industry for the past year.

Last year’s launch of OpenAI’s large-language model ChatGPT became a catalyst for the broader consumer acceptance of AI, presenting an opportunity for companies in the throes of a tech funding downturn to cash in on the accelerated demand.

RELATED: Shopify enterprise merchants can now use Google’s AI tools to improve searchability

Following Google’s launch of Bard, a rival to ChatGPT, in March Shopify announced an integration with the search engine giant to use its AI solutions for product discoverability. In this partnership, enterprise brands using Commerce Components—Shopify’s enterprise solution—can use Google Cloud’s Discovery AI tools to help mitigate “search abandonment.”

Search abandonment happens when a potential customer searches for a product on a retailer’s website but does not find what they are looking for. According to Google, these failed searches can have a lasting impact on consumers’ brand loyalty.

In addition to its recent partnership with Google, Shopify had added several new channels to improve product discoverability for its merchants in the last year. On Tuesday, Roku revealed an integration with Shopify, allowing viewers to purchase products from merchants directly from their TV.

Roku recently unveiled new AI capability searches across its content library that would match a brand’s message and place their ads in “iconic plot moments” in real time. For example, TechCrunch reported that when Tim Gunn says “make it work” in Project Runway, an apparel brand could insert its message.

Featured image courtesy Tobi Lütke via Twitter.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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