Chat GPT-4 for ecommerce: the good, the bad and the ugly

Chat GPT-4 for ecommerce: the good, the bad and the ugly

The pros and cons of language AI for online retailers

There are defining moments in time when tools are created that change the way we live or work forever. And they often happen whether the world is ready for them or not. 

Word on the street is we’re entering one of those moments; say hello to Chat GPT-4, the latest speech AI developed by OpenAI.

But what exactly is Chat GPT-4, what are its benefits to the ecommerce industry and what are its drawbacks? We explore each of those questions in this article.

What is Chat GPT-4 and how does it compare to previous versions?

Chat GPT-4 – an abbreviation for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer – is a chatbot that is sophisticated enough to hold a human-like conversation with real people. 

It is the most recent language AI system from OpenAI – an American company boasting Twitter, Elon Musk and Microsoft as its investors – and is by far the most sophisticated language AI to have been created to date.

“Following the research path from GPT, GPT-2, and GPT-3, our deep learning approach leverages more data and more computation to create increasingly sophisticated and capable language models,” says OpenAI.

Here’s how it compares to older versions of Chat GPT:

  • GPT-4 is more creative and collaborative than ever before. It can generate, edit, and iterate with users on creative and technical writing tasks, such as composing songs, writing screenplays, or learning a user’s writing style
  • It can accept images as inputs and generate captions, classifications, and analyses
  • GPT-4 is capable of handling over 25,000 words of text, allowing for use cases like long-form content creation, extended conversations, and document search and analysis
  • It surpasses Chat GPT in its advanced reasoning capabilities
  • GPT-4 outperforms Chat GPT by scoring in higher approximate percentiles among test-takers

It is also completely free and easily accessible on the internet – a clever marketing tactic that has caused quite a stir.

How can ecommerce businesses benefit from the advancements of language AI?

Whilst Chatbots on ecommerce websites are nothing new, advancing technology means companies can benefit from using language AI such as ChatGPT-4 now more than ever.

Here are some ways of using Chat GPT-4 and other language AI systems in your business:

Writing product descriptions

As discussed in our recent article on reducing returns and improving your returns process the more information you can offer your customers about a product the more likely they are not only to buy it but also not to return it. By helping your customers find out what they need to know you’re helping your business.

Writing product descriptions, especially when you have a plethora of stock-keeping units (SKUs) is undoubtedly time-consuming. Chat GPT-4 can certainly ease the load by writing them en-masse, extremely quickly. The technology also offers a huge range of tones and styles, so you can opt for one that suits your brand.

Shopify has also introduced a tool called Shopify Magic which uses AI to write product descriptions for you.

Find out more here.

Writing and responding to emails

Provide Chat GPT-4 with a brief and it is capable of writing emails for you – be it a newsletter to customers, a sales email or something different altogether. It can also suggest how you might respond to emails and you can automate the process even more by integrating Chat GPT-4 with your Gmail or Outlook.

Proofreading

As well as writing copy Chat GPT-4 can check your grammar and spelling – ideal if you’re writing in a hurry or English isn’t your first language. Whether it’s an email, product description or press release, having a tool to check your work gives peace of mind and saves on resources.

Creating content for social media

In this day and age, it’s a given that brands have some kind of social media presence. But it’s not always easy to write nifty captions that catch peoples’ attention. Chat GPT-4 can be used to create engaging posts, whether for a static post, a feature video describing the product or a how-to guide. 

Summarising long content 

As well as writing you can use language AI to condense copy and make it easier to read. The technology can also summarise articles and reports for you, meaning you don’t have to read the whole piece when you’re strapped for time.

Generating SEO titles

Whether it be a blog piece or a product description, optimising content for SEO can be time-consuming and a bit of a minefield. Chat GPT-4 can relieve those stresses by providing you with a list of suggested keywords and titles, based on competitor research. 

Writing code

One of the most impressive features of Chat GPT-4 is that it can write code. So if you don’t have a developer to hand and need to, say, integrate a new plugin, it can help you.

Generating FAQ sections  

Online retailers know that if their customers can’t easily source information they will shop elsewhere. One way of providing useful information, without having to put in much ongoing effort, is to have an FAQ section on your website – something made even easier to produce if you utilise Chat GPT-4.

Provide the technology with the required context and it will generate answers to the questions, as well as add some more relevant questions. An FAQ page will also boost your SEO.

Engaging with customers

One of the most significant ways in which language AI can help retailers is by interacting with customers in a human way – by answering questions in a chat box, for example.

Whilst FAQs are fantastic, chat boxes can help answer more personal or less vague questions, as well as help consolidate information about a product from across multiple sources.

Klevu recently launched MOI: Chat GPT at the Discovered Festival in March. MOI, which is the Finnish word for ‘hi’, is an experimental search conversations AI chat tool. 

“MOI is smarter than your average chatbot, built using a clever mix of Klevu AI and Open AI, and is designed to improve the on-site search experience and challenge what’s possible within conventional search,” says the company.

“MOI allows shoppers to ask for information about any data that is indexed by Klevu, including product descriptions, attribute data, popularity and sentiment from reviews and more. MOI can understand almost anything it’s asked, give guidance, and personalize product results.” 

Find out more here.

Customer service

Chat GPT-4 can also answer questions about returns, delivery times and stock levels. Use a chatbot to let customers know when their order has been processed, or advise on how to fill in a returns form. 

Responding to reviews

We all know that best practice involves responding to customer reviews, but constraints on time and resources mean this can often get left behind. Chat GPT-4 can do the work for you, generating responses to both the good – and not-so-good – reviews in an appropriate way. 

Gathering data

We’ve established that language AI can consolidate reams of information from a wealth of resources. This makes the technology a particularly useful tool for identifying trends, helping to understand customers, and researching your competitors. 

Chat GPT-4 can also structure the data it gathers, sorting it into tables and so on. This data can then be used to help marketers inform their strategies. 

What are the drawbacks of Chat GPT-4 and other language AI? 

There is no denying that the capabilities of Chat GPT-4 are incredibly impressive, and there are many ways in which language technology can be hugely beneficial to ecommerce retailers. 

Nothing in life is perfect though, and Chat GPT-4 does have its disadvantages – along with other AI. Let’s take a look:

Lack of knowledge

Ultimately, Chat GPT-4 is only as good as the information it’s fed. And if a customer asks a more nuanced question, it may struggle to come up with a detailed answer.

In the same way, if a retailer is responsible for selling thousands of products by hundreds of brands, the AI may be given a lucky dip of information all formatted in different ways.

This will make it harder for the AI to compare products like for like on behalf of a customer, unless a human standardises the data to begin with.

Brands must therefore always set rules and parameters when inputting data into the machine, including the type of information required for the product description and the style in which it’s presented. 

It goes without saying that a human must fact-check, tone-check and grammar-check each piece too. 

Out-of-date data

More significantly, Chat GPT-4 is only party to data from up to 2021, so its bank of knowledge isn’t up to date. 

Even the sources of information up until that point might themselves have included out-of-date or inaccurate information – after all, the internet is populated with content from millions of uncensored sources. Anyone can update Wikipedia, for example. 

Lack of empathy

The clue’s in the name – AI is indeed artificial intelligence and will never be a real human. It will therefore likely never have the same abilities to empathise with customers and their emotions in the same way as a person can. 

Understanding your customers’ emotions is vital to excellent customer service and also to creating a successful marketing campaign. For this reason alone Chat GPT-4 shouldn’t replace humans altogether.

Worrying levels of consciousness 

Whilst AI isn’t capable of having the exact emotions of a human some people are concerned about what level of consciousness the technology does have. 

Just this week the “godfather” of AI Geoffrey Hinton announced his resignation at Google thanks to the “scary” developments in AI chatbots.

"Right now, they're not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be," the cognitive psychologist and computer scientist told the BBC.

Elon Musk – an investor in OpenAI – also recently claimed that “the world is woefully unprepared for the impact of artificial intelligence,” saying that the technology will hit people “like an asteroid.” 

The entrepreneur even pushed previous president Barack Obama to regulate AI more rigorously due to his concerns. Ironically, Musk has since been in the press for allegedly starting his own company to rival OpenAI, though.

Crushes creativity 

Another real concern with the advancement of Chat GPT-4 and other language AI is that it may lead humans to become lazy and reduce their levels of creativity. 

Similar to when calculators were introduced and our mathematical skills arguably declined, the more we rely on AI to create written content the less the creative portions of our brains may be exercised.

People may also become complacent, not questioning how correct or appropriate answers are provided by the machine.

Problems with plagiarism

Finally, and particularly a concern for businesses, is the issue of plagiarism. It’s almost impossible to track where the masses of information used to generate content using AI has come from, making it equally hard to cite.

This creates an opportunity for copyrighted content to accidentally be plagiarised, which could leave your business in hot water. So if you use AI, make sure to have your content checked over by a qualified human too.

Conclusion

Whether we’re ready for it or not, AI is here to stay. And the technology is only getting better.

There are countless benefits to it – we have an opportunity to do more with less and as well as supporting the work of humans, AI may inspire a new way of thinking and creating that we never even thought possible.

So be curious, but also be cautious – pause before you dive into the unknown and make sure that there is always a human at the other end to drive, edit and censor-check content before it goes public. 

*Main image is a still from Refik Anadol’s giant LED wall, “Living Paintings Immersive Editions,” at Jeffrey Deitch. The artist uses large collections of data and machine learning algorithms to create installations.

About By Association Only

By Association Only is the Shopify Plus agency for the world’s most design-conscious luxury brands. Get in touch to discover how our team of experts can support your brand’s Shopify ambitions.

Recent articles you may also like

“The most unified Shopify yet” 

We break down the most valuable updates from Shopify Editions, Unified.

By Association Only sponsors Vervaunt’s Pulse Ecommerce Summit for the third year

Last week London-based ecommerce consultancy and paid media agency Vervaunt hosted the third Pulse Ecommerce Summit at The Brewery in London. Here are the highlights.

A/B Testing for ecommerce

We look at the advantages and disadvantages of A/B testing, what can be tested, and which tools are most useful.