John Alexander owns JT Pets, a natural pet food and supply store in Hamilton, Ontario. JT Pets was one of the winners of the Square 50 Awards in the Future-Facing category for its use of AI and for harnessing “advanced technology to streamline and automate processes.” Congratulations, John!
We recently caught up with John to learn more about how he uses ChatGPT and what advice he has for other business owners interested in trying it out.
How did you discover ChatGPT?
I first came across ChatGPT on TikTok late last year as it was released to the public. The presenter mentioned its capabilities, and out of curiosity, I decided to explore it further. The more I delved into what ChatGPT could offer, the more I realized it could be a valuable asset to my business. As the features have evolved during this past year, it’s become even more useful, with plug-ins and data analysis.
How often do you use it? Do you use the app or the browser online?
I find myself using ChatGPT several times a week, especially during margin checks, website updates, and marketing campaigns. While both the app and browser versions are user-friendly, I prefer to use the browser online as it seamlessly integrates with my desktop workflow. The app is great for a quick recipe or meal plan, not business optimization.
How did you learn to write a prompt for ChatGPT?
There is no right or wrong way to write a prompt. When I first discovered ChatGPT, I spoke to it like a human, and it would give me a basic response. What is great about ChatGPT is its working memory. The entire thread you have with it is being used to refine and improve your initial prompt. Initially, there was a learning curve. Like any other tool, understanding the best way to ask, or prompt, ChatGPT took some trial and error. However, with time and practice, I’ve become adept at framing my questions to get the most accurate and useful responses for me.
📚 Learn more about AI online.
What is the biggest benefit to using ChatGPT?
The most significant benefit of ChatGPT is its efficiency. Instead of spending hours on data analysis or content creation, ChatGPT provides insights and drafts in a matter of minutes. This saves time and ensures that our strategies are based on data-driven decisions. Additionally, I am not the most skilled of writers, so having a tool that can take a vendor’s description and write copy for a product page, SEO, or a marketing campaign is a game changer. For example, “Cat toy with catnip, shaped like a starfish” becomes:
SEO Title: Catnip Starfish Toy — Entertain Your Cat with a Fun Starfish-Shaped Cat Toy
SEO Description: Treat your feline friend to endless hours of entertainment with our Catnip Starfish Toy. Shaped like a starfish and filled with high-quality catnip, this toy is designed to captivate your cat’s attention and provide hours of playful fun. Watch your cat pounce, chase, and bat at the starfish, stimulating their natural instincts and providing exercise and mental stimulation. Made with durable materials to withstand rough play, this catnip starfish toy is a must-have addition to your cat’s toy collection. Order now and bring joy to your furry companion!
Does ChatGPT return accurate results when you use it to analyze profit margins and sales trends?
Yes, ChatGPT has proven to be accurate in its analysis. For instance, it once identified a particular brand of dog treat that, while popular, had been out of stock for sometime. When it returned, the price had increased significantly to where I had it priced for less than I paid. I didn’t catch that when I put it into inventory until I ran a report with ChatGPT on my catalog and sales for negative and low margins.
Another example was I wanted to identify items that generate my highest sales dollars, highest units, and highest profits to give me marketing ideas. I gave ChatGPT my sales history and it spit out 10 of each for me to work with.
You use ChatGPT to help write marketing letters to customers. Are your emails more successful?
Since employing ChatGPT for our marketing efforts, we’ve noticed good engagement rates with our emails. The copy is concise, engaging, and resonates well with our customers, leading to better open and click-through rates. However, we historically haven’t done a lot of marketing with emails prior to it outside of automated Square Marketing, so it is hard to compare. But with ChatGPT I feel confident enough to make them more often due to the ease of generating copy. As a result, I’m improving my business.
💡 With Square Email Marketing you can let AI write emails for you to create personalized marketing campaigns to keep your customers coming back.
Are there any downsides to using ChatGPT?
While ChatGPT is incredibly powerful, it’s essential to remember that it’s a tool. It doesn’t replace human intuition or the personal touch that is often required in business. Also, it’s crucial to review the information or content it provides to ensure it aligns with the brand’s voice and goals.
What advice would you give to other business owners considering ChatGPT?
If you’re considering ChatGPT:
- Be mindful of what you share!
- Avoid sharing highly personal or sensitive information with AI models like ChatGPT. Assume that anything you input into the system could potentially be stored or used in some way.
- Spend some time learning how to prompt the tool effectively.
- Always review the content or data it provides to ensure it aligns with your business goals.
- Remember, while AI is powerful, it should complement, not replace, your business instincts and personal touch.
See ChatGPT in action.
Click the link below ⬇️ to read an AI-generated article, prompted by John.
Helen is a Seller Community Manager at Square and is the editor of the Seller Community Blog. She writes about small business and the owners and entrepreneurs who are a part of the Seller Community.
This article is only for informational purposes. The information provided in this article solely reflects the speaker’s views and is not endorsed by Square. This article is limited in scope and is only intended as a high-level overview of the topics mentioned. A speaker series or event are for educational purposes and do not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, you should consult with a qualified legal professional.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, you can register with your Square Login.