How Shopify Website Designers Can Leverage Chat GPT

Leverage Chat GPT for your Shopify projects with these prompts, insights and practical applications from Shopify Certified Expert Brenda Lachman of Ecom Queens.

How Shopify Website Designers Can Leverage Chat GPT

Yes, it's all the rage these days: Chat GPT. Some love it and have quickly adopted it, while others are more skeptical and fear its potential impact on their profession.

As a Shopify Certified Expert and Marketing Strategist, I've been leveraging Chat GPT in my website design process for several months now. I'd love to share some insights, practical applications, and prompt examples to highlight how Chat GPT has enhanced my Shopify projects, and how it can help yours, too!

Ready to dive in?

Understanding Chat GPT

First, let’s understand what we’re talking about. ChatGPT is an advanced AI model recently released by OpenAI, a leading AI research and deployment entity. It's designed to generate human-like text responses in conversational settings, enabling users to have fluid and dynamic interactions with the AI. It was released on November 30th, 2022, quickly generating an astonishing one million users in just four days, and now has over 100 million users. This rapid adoption positioned AI prominently in the consumer market, and now thousands of companies have either launched AI-based solutions or integrated AI components into their existing products.

So, how does ChatGPT operate? Initially, it was trained on an expansive dataset - 570GB of public text data from the internet, with 175 billion distinct parameters.Then, to make it conversational, it was fine-tuned using a dataset that included examples of conversations. This involved human AI trainers messaging with the model, so it could glean insights on all the nuances of communication.

Chat GPT is still in its beta phase, and OpenAI routinely gathers and evaluates user feedback, ensuring the model's continuous refinement. Currently, GPT-3.5 is available for free, and GPT-4 is a bit more advanced in its output and available with a paid subscription. (I currently use the paid version, but the free one is great to start with).

Important Limitations

Before diving deep into any software, it's crucial to recognize its constraints.

  • It doesn't search the Internet in real-time.
  • Its knowledge only extends up to 2021.
  • It can produce biased or inaccurate outputs.
  • The phrasing of your query matters; the same question posed differently may yield different results.
  • It can "hallucinate": if it doesn’t have an answer, it might make something up.

Therefore, Chat GPT should never replace genuine research, especially when real-life outcomes are at stake. Always fact check information it generates.

While it’s a powerful tool, it’s not flawless and isn't about to take our jobs (thankfully!). Sometimes I’ll try many different ways and it just won’t come back with something that’s usable. Recognize when to give up - if it’s not working after multiple attempts, it might be better to write that part on your own. You can also mix and match responses to come up with something that works. As you gain experience with prompt phrasing and feedback, this will happen less and less - but it still does happen.

However, Chat GPT really shines when it comes to creative solutions. When I’m designing a website, and need help coming up with good copy, it’s excellent!

Prompt Perfection

Unlocking Chat GPT's magic lies in the art of crafting prompts. Here’s how:

  • Take It Slow: First, share who you are and your initial goal, and submit the prompt. Then share a bit more, and submit the prompt. Finally, share your ‘ask’.
  • Be Clear & Specific: state exactly what you’re looking for, or exactly why the response isn’t good, so that the model can best help you.
  • Iterate & Refine: never go with the first response. Ask for multiple answers, then share which one you like best, and ask it to create more examples similar to that. Oftentimes two or three rounds in, you strike gold! Let it know which response you end up using, so it gets an idea of your style.
  • Set The Style: specify the style, tone, or persona that you’re looking for. You can even give it some prior copy that you’ve written, and ask it to mimic that style in the response.

Now that we understand more about the platform, let’s talk about different ways that Chat GPT can help Shopify designers & business owners when creating websites.

Compelling Copy

Sometimes clients come to us with their copy professionally written, and other times not. If a client doesn’t have their copy ready, I offer to create it for them, with no extra charge. I’m transparent about utilizing Chat GPT, so it’s important for them to review it for accuracy and tone afterward. It’s worlds apart from Lorem Ipsum!Here is an example of how I communicate with Chat GPT for my website projects. Each line is a separate prompt. Chat GPT remembers previous prompts within the same conversation, even if days have passed. These conversations are auto-labeled and stored on the left sidebar. If you’re new to Chat GPT, try copying and pasting the exact prompts below, one at a time, to get an idea of how it works.

Multi-step example prompt:

  1. I am a Shopify website designer, and I am building a website for my client. The brand is called Sunshine Chocolates and they sell high-end chocolates, perfect for celebrations and gifting. I will first share more information about their brand. Just respond with “Ok” until I share the prompt.
  2. Their target audience is both business executives looking for corporate gifts, as well as families celebrating birthdays and weddings. They sell chocolate bars, candied nuts, gift boxes, and customizable chocolates.
  3. Please come up with a tagline for this brand, taking into account all the previous information I’ve given. It should be short, catchy, and contain SEO optimized keywords. Please give me 5 options.
  4. I like #2 best. Give me 5 more options like that, but make it less wordy.
  5. Ok I am going with #4. Thanks!
  6. Now, I need help with the about page copy. The business owner’s name is Adeline, she lives in Missouri, and she’s been dreaming of opening this brand since she was a child. The copy should be in first person, with a genuine, simple and friendly voice.

SEO Optimized Keywords

When building out a Shopify store, it's surprisingly common for designers and business owners to overlook the Homepage meta title & description. You'll find this setting in your Shopify admin under 'Online Store' and then 'Preferences'. Remember, the Homepage meta title is what you see next to the store name on a browser tab. And both the title and description pop up in Google search results once your site is indexed. So, it's pretty important! Chat GPT does a great job at coming up with these short, on-point, and SEO-optimized phrases.

Prompt Examples:

  1. I need a catchy 5 word slogan for Sunshine Chocolates. It is going under the Meta Title section in Shopify, so it should include SEO optimized keywords and adequately sum up the brand. Take into account everything I've told you about the brand above. It shouldn't be 2 phrases separated by a colon. Give me 5 options, please.
  2. Now I need a longer Meta Description, with descriptive and SEO optimized keywords. It should repeat and flesh out the slogan we decided on above. Mention that it's Missouri based. It cannot be more than 320 characters. Please give me 3 options.

Shopify CSS Styling

One of the new features Shopify 2.0 introduced is one I've found incredibly useful: the option to add custom CSS to an individual section. This has been a lifesaver for me, especially when I want to make small design tweaks without diving deep into the code. It works best for changing colors of specific assets, but I’ve used it for other tweaks as well.

Go to the theme editor, find the section you want to tweak, and look for the 'Custom CSS' dropdown. Now, here's where ChatGPT comes in handy. Grab the code it suggests, pop it into the editor, and see your changes in action! Keep in mind that ChatGPT isn't aware of this Custom CSS section in Shopify, so the code snippet shouldn’t include HTML, and it might take a couple tries to get it right. Always make sure your adjustments look good on both desktop and mobile. You’ve now expanded your theme customization options, even if you don’t code at all.

Example prompt:
I am working on a Shopify website, and want to write custom CSS code. I don’t need to identify the section, as the code will be applied to the actual section already. I am looking to make the buttons black. What CSS code can I use?

Researching & Troubleshooting

Forgot where to find a setting in Shopify? Need step-by-step guidance on editing product details? Surprisingly, Chat GPT can assist! It can also tackle a range of research questions for your eCommerce customers, such as defining a target audience, creating a customer avatar, or understanding different marketing styles. Of course, take all output with a grain of salt and fact check everything.

Example prompts:

  • I am looking to add some easy add-on options to Sunshine Chocolates. We offer deluxe chocolates to corporate businesses and families for special occasions. These add-ons should be easy to source, and not handmade, like the chocolates. Perhaps something that you can use together when gifting? Can you give me 10 examples of popular products that my target customer would enjoy?
  • Can you show me, step by step, how to set up Calculated Shipping within Shopify?

Client Communication

As service providers, we all know that nailing client communication is key. ChatGPT can help with responding to a challenging question, crafting the right email, or even drafting project proposals. It's also great for those moments when you need to communicate delays, address feedback, or set boundaries in a professional tone.

However, while using ChatGPT as a starting point can save time, it's essential to keep your unique voice in the mix. Make sure to tweak and personalize responses to maintain a genuine connection with your clients. The goal is assistance, not automation - so avoid sounding like a robot!

Example prompts:

  • I am a Shopify website designer. My client still hasn’t given me the required assets (photos and product details) after multiple attempts at reaching out. I want to email her to let her know there will be an additional cost involved if this project goes beyond the timeline due to missing materials. Can you write a very basic, short email that explains this in a friendly yet assertive way?

Shopify & AI

Of course, Shopify has jumped on the AI bandwagon as well. Shopify Magic now allows you to create AI generated copy on product pages, info pages, emails, and chat inquiries. You can choose the tone of each response as well. Sidekick is a new AI bot they’re rolling out, to help answer questions, come up with blog post ideas, and much more. Everything we’ve learned above can apply to these AI tools as well. Follow along to see what else Shopify rolls out!

A Note About Chat GPT Updates

This article is up-to-date as of September 2023. Chat GPT and its underlying AI model are evolving very fast. OpenAI introduced it less than a year ago, and the market has grown so much since. Recently, there've been rumors about a decline in Chat GPT's output quality. One theory is that as OpenAI refines the beta software to reduce hallucination (instances when it fabricates information not based on real events), it might inadvertently curb the model's creative flair. I personally utilize the paid 4.0 version and find it effective. However, the techniques we've explored above are not exclusive to Chat GPT - they can work on other AI software as well.

Remember, the more you practice, the better your results will be.

Good luck, and have fun!


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