Shopify Sidekick: An AI Assistant To Help Merchants

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Image of a chat in the builder, and Shopify Sidekick asking how it can help.
Source: Shopify "Meet Sidekick" video.
  • Shopify announced a new AI assistant via Twitter, as “coming soon”.
  • Shopify’s new “Sidekick” is an AI assistant in which you can ask any question and it provides a detailed answer – it will even do website building tasks to save merchants time.

Shopify is the best ecommerce website builder we’ve tested, and that’s before the AI help. This new Shopify AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant tool was announced on Twitter by CEO Tobi Lutke on July 12th. The Tweet, which reached 1.6 million views, introduced Shopify Sidekick via a video, which focused on Shopify’s mission to make life easier for entrepreneurs starting and building their online businesses. With Tobi saying in the video:

“We believe entrepreneurs are heroes, this is our foundational belief here, and every hero needs a sidekick.”

Over the last year, AI has had an estimated value of 200 billion U.S. dollars, and it’s thought to grow twentyfold by 2030, to nearly two trillion U.S. dollars. The boom of AI has just begun, propelled by ChatGPT a text generator that writes text for you with only a few simple keywords – to now the ability to have a website-building sidekick.

What Is Shopify Sidekick?

It’s the answer to: can Shopify be automated, and the answer is now a resounding yes. Shopify Sidekick will be a sidebar chat with an AI assistant, where merchants can ask questions like “why have my sales dropped off from January to now?” and the AI will explain the dip in sales instantly, with automated reports and graphs to boot.

Another feature of Shopify Sidekick is the ability to do tasks for you. For example, you could ask it to put your summer collection of white t-shirts on sale, and Shopify Sidekick will swoop in and automatically add the sales information to those items – saving merchants plenty of time.

What’s more, it can handle bigger tasks related to the website’s aesthetic too, like asking the Shopify Assistant to add your new products to your homepage.

Is Shopify Sidekick the Same As Shopify Magic?

No, Shopify Magic is an AI tool for creating product descriptions, you click the three stars on your product description box and it generates the description instantly from a few keywords.

Whereas Shopify Sidekick is a whole other ball game, it’s a business-savvy algorithm that helps you build your website and run your business, offering advice and data. Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lutke said in the announcement that he viewed entrepreneurs as heroes and that all heroes need a sidekick. He explained that some entrepreneurs have someone they can call when they need help building up a business and wanted to provide a virtual assistant that anyone could turn to with their questions.

Is It Worth Using Shopify Sidekick?

It’s hard to say as it’s not available yet, and we haven’t tested its capabilities. From what we’ve seen over the last year, AI is snowballing. If Shopify Sidekick works as the company intends, it could save merchants time on looking for answers, and even doing menial tasks like adding a sale sign to items.

There are a couple of questions about whether AI can generate good quality content, as when I spoke to Wix’s head of SEO, he stated about AI:

“We’re opening Pandora’s box. You can look forward to the web being temporarily ruined – and then it fixing itself.”

But that’s not to say that if AI is used as a base structure where you then go in and edit the content can’t be a time saver. It’s also hard to say without testing how proficient the Shopify Sidekick AI tool will be at answering questions, changing web pages, and relaying your website data. The jury is out on whether or not Shopify Sidekick will be a revolutionary new tool or won’t work as intended. Shopify Sidekick hasn’t been released yet, but Shopify has said it’s “Coming Soon” – so watch this space!

Written by:
I’m a writer at Website Builder Expert, having joined the team in March 2022. Before joining I had my own freelance content writing business and now I work to test builders and write the content you read here on the site – so you can create a website that best suits you and your needs. Over my first year here I’ve tested all the builders you’ll read about, shaped the weekly newsletter content, written social media content, and scripted YouTube videos. I’ve also created demo websites to help showcase the builder’s capabilities so you can pick the best option. I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to pitch articles for the site like the Best Writer Websites and write guest posts for the likes of Digital Information World, using my degree expertise in Film to share tips on video optimization.

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