digital marketing

Shopify and AI: Who’s Really in Control of Your Cart?

E-commerce in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, Shopify has been leading the e-commerce game with a market share of 10.32% as of 2024. Consequently, they have embraced the ever-evolving technological landscape. From automated product descriptions to chatbot customer support, Shopify has undergone an AI integration. As AI begins to merge itself into all aspects of our shopping, one can’t help but wonder… who really is in charge?

Shopify and AI: Who’s Really in Control of Your Cart?

Shopify and AI
Shopify and AI: who is in control of your cart?

Shopify, the Ecommerce World Leader Goes All in on AI

E-commerce is on the rise and it is no wonder that Shopify constantly lands at the forefront of the industry. As one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in the world, Shopify has grown a loyal customer base of nearly 4.8 million live sites and has websites in over 175 different countries. Additionally, as of 2024, 26% of all e-commerce stores are Shopify sites. Shopify makes it incredibly easy to run an e-commerce business. Its customizable themes, built-in and third-party payment systems, and its support of individual store SEO are a few of the reasons customers continually stick with the company.

AI in Shopify

Not only is Shopify leading in the world of e-commerce, but with the integration of AI, Shopify has an unstoppable and unique competitive advantage. As most people know, Shopify’s platform has everything a merchant would need to start a store. However, the company did not develop everything themselves. Instead, it has created a large developer marketplace within the site. This is great news for AI software developers who want to get their skin in the game on one of the worlds largest platforms. In the summer of 2023, Shopify introduced over 100 new AI powered features into its site, including Shopify Magic and Sidekick. Shopify Magic writes product descriptions, chats with customers, optimizes product images, and generates emails that turn into FAQ pages. With Sidekick, merchants can better understand their sales, as AI explains any trends and extracts insights and data from sales and website traffic. 

The Implication of AI Integration

AI is integrating itself into every aspect of our lives. At this point, I don’t know up from down and most of us can’t decipher between the real or the fake. It’s frankly exhausting. In fact, most of the sites I used to research this topic were generated by AI! It’s not surprising to me that one of largest e-commerce platform in the world is using AI in any way it can. What’s hard to grasp is the lack of authenticity that is taking place.

Think about it; Merchants are using Shopify to sell their goods, then generative AI is writing the product descriptions and enhancing the product photos. Then with AI programs like Shopify Magic, you are being fed advertisements based on data and sales trends. We are being sold something from an AI generated program. Let’s assume you have an issue with the product you were sold. Chances are you will be greeted by an AI chatbot, to solve all of your problems. Not only could this jeopardise customer service quality, but this could also entail a severe lack of empathy or human understanding.

On a totally different level, Generative AI is also being used to create fraudulent e-commerce websites. This is something I will discuss in a future blog post.

Are We Really In Control?

So that begs the question, are we really in control of our cart? I venture to say that we aren’t anymore. The AI programs within Shopify are generating the content and targeting us based on data. This is not a revolutionary idea, but where does it stop? All sense of control is essentially gone when it comes to the online shopping experience. 

I do acknowledge that AI is a great tool. Tool being the key word. But here, we are entering the fourth dimension. The entire online shopping process is being taken over by AI. And with e-commerce growing at the current pace, there is no escape.

Yet, the relevant role for AI would be to assist and enhance human efforts, not replace them entirely. 

Comments

Back to top button