4 Square Sellers on How They’re Using AI in Their Businesses

4 Square Sellers on How They’re Using AI in Their Businesses
These Square sellers share how they're successfully using AI in their business.
by Nina Godlewski Dec 19, 2023 — 4 min read
4 Square Sellers on How They’re Using AI in Their Businesses

Thinking about integrating artificial intelligence into your business? It might be helpful to look at other businesses as examples. An April 2023 survey by McKinsey found that 55% of respondents reported their organizations had adopted AI. Often, the result is time saved, increased productivity, improved consistency, and automated processes. With AI adoption growing, now is the time to ask the big question.

How can you use AI to your advantage?

Here’s some inspiration from current Square sellers showing how they implement AI for their own businesses.

Fuddy Duddy Co.: Custom AI-generated images 

The challenge

When Carissa Smith decided to create an online store for her candle and wax melt business, Fuddy Duddy Co., she needed photos to add to the website. But a full product photoshoot can be expensive and take days. She previously sold her products at a farmer’s market, but it was closing for the winter season, and she wanted to make her products available for customers year-round. 

The solution and results

Instead of conducting a photo shoot with multiple backgrounds, Smith took advantage of Square Photo Studio. The AI-powered tool allowed her to alter the background behind each product photo and add in digital characteristics that reflect the scent of each candle. Her Higher Ground candle, for instance, features notes of coffee and cinnamon donuts. So the photo for that candle uses a digitally altered background showing coffee beans. The seasonal scent Harvest Moon uses autumn leaves and apples in the background, conveying the cozy scent of apple, pine, and walnut. 

Smith created these images quickly and without spreading coffee beans across her countertop or heading outside for some leaf salvaging. The app allows users to take or upload a photo, remove the existing background with the click of a button, select the keywords relevant to the background they want, and let the AI handle the rest. “I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to play around with the different keywords,” Smith said. 

Instead of spending hours or days setting up her 20-plus products for photos and then editing multiple photos of each item, Square Photo Studio allowed her to complete the task in much less time. And using a chatbot helped her get the descriptions written. The time she saved using AI tools meant she could have her site up and running and making sales sooner.

Pilgrim Pups: Product description time savers

The challenge

A good retail website needs photos. It also needs descriptions of the products. Amber Cerone and her husband opened Pilgrim Pups in September 2023. Their business is a dog boutique in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts, stocking items from local and small businesses. But in order to sell online, they needed to add their 200-plus products to their website.

The solution and results

Instead of writing a detailed description of every single item on their business’s website, they used the Square auto-generated item descriptions AI. “It’s amazing. I love it. It just saves so much time,” Cerone said. The feature is part of the workflow for creating new items in Square for Retail, making the experience seamless for users. 

“It’s been awesome and it’s been accurate too. I put in what I’m looking for, and it’s been really pretty spot on for what we would need for copy,” Cerone told Square. The tool sped up their website launch and made the task of describing dog toys, leashes, and other accessories less tedious. 

Red Bay Coffee: Job postings that work

The challenge

The day-to-day of running a coffee shop keeps the employees at Oakland-based Red Bay Coffee busy. But there was never enough time for some additional tasks, like writing blog posts and job postings. Without the job descriptions, open roles remained unfilled, and “now our business is suffering because we’re trying to hire this person,” founder Keba Konte said. 

The solution and results

They started using AI tools like ChatGPT to help them get these writing tasks done more quickly. “It just allows us to do more,” said Konte. “There are just some things that we just could not get to,” he explained. For example, not having time to write a job description meant being short-staffed. But by leveraging an AI tool for this task, they could draft the job description more quickly, review it, post it, and hire the help they need. 

Ice Cream Social: Marketing spark

The challenge

Another innovative way businesses are using AI is as inspiration for content. The owners of Chicago-based Ice Cream Social, Victoria Roedel and Mike Weiss, use ChatGPT for exactly this type of marketing work. They put a detailed prompt into the chatbot and then adjust the results to fit their business. That ultimately saves time and eliminates writer’s block in the process.

The solution and results

“ChatGPT is a great tool for entering a prompt. Especially when you give it parameters like ‘I need a Facebook caption that’s only three lines long that accomplishes X, Y, and Z. It does a great job at providing thought starters, at least, that you can take from there and finesse into what can be final social media copy,” Weiss said.

If they’re working on how they’ll talk about events like National Ice Cream Day, they’ll simply ask the generative tool to give them a creative jumpstart. “It’s just so helpful as a starting point when you’re stuck and don’t know where to go creatively. It just kind of gives you that little push that you need,” Roedel said.

Finding a place for AI in your business 

Now that you’ve seen a few examples of how businesses are already using AI, consider how you’ll add AI to your business workflow. If you write emails, online ads, website copy, or social copy, you could be using the AI tools mentioned above. And if you’re a Square customer, you’ve got AI tools at your fingertips, ready to use.

These AI tools can be huge timesavers and creative partners for businesses willing to try them out. And as AI technology evolves, it will become more important to know how to use these tools well and to your advantage. Like any new business tools, the benefits can be endless for those who get comfortable with them early on and learn how to view them as a partner in their work.

 

Nina Godlewski
Nina Godlewski is an editor at Square covering all things technology and using storytelling to help businesses succeed and grow.

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