Canva, the graphic design platform, has recently launched AI tools aimed at helping independent retailers create professional-looking designs for their businesses. The tools use machine learning algorithms to suggest design elements and layouts that best suit the retailer’s needs. This is expected to save independent retailers time and money in creating high-quality designs for their businesses.

Notice anything different about today’s blog post? The paragraph you just read was not written by yours truly – it was created by Magic Write, the artificial intelligence tool recently rolled out by Canva as part of its Canva Create tools. The only clue that I gave was “Canva has a new AI tool to help independent retailers.” The rest was provided by the bot, and I only made a few minor word changes. 

I used Magic Design, another Canva Create AI (artificial intelligence) tool, to make the graphic to go with today’s post, providing a fews words and waiting to see what the program came up with. I must admit I didn’t find that process as magical as I’d hoped. It’s so easy to create effective graphics using Canva’s regular tools, especially now that they have been enhanced by Magic Edit & Eraser, Text to Image and Create an Animation. Some of these features are still in Beta testing, but if you’re a Canva user they are worth experimenting with.

Retailers who are active on social media, send out a customer newsletter, maintain a website or post to a blog can end up doing a lot of writing. Using AI can save you time, as the bot who wrote the opening paragraph suggests, and help when writer’s block strikes. Garth Beyer, a Monroe Street retailer with a background in marketing, has relied on ChatBPT, another AI platform, since it was rolled out last November. “I use it for almost all my writing now,” he confided. “It gets it about 80% of the way there, and I edit it the other 20%.” 

Many people are leery of AI imitating human beings in business “conversations,” such as a discussion with what appears to be a live customer service agent. There are of course serious potential societal dangers inherent in this technology, as delineated in this article.  But if you think using Canva’s magic tools or ChapBPT can free up some of the time you spend on marketing tasks, I think it’s worth giving it a try!

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

PS Please note that there won’t be a Specialty Shop Retailing blog next week