Demsytifying AI for Ecom

Learn how to leverage the latest craze

Hi folks, 

Welcome back to another bite to chew on.

Listen, we know there are a lot of newsletters for founders and operators. We try to stand out as one of the best out there. 

That’s why we respect quality when we see it. 

Here’s another one that we think is the crème of the crop when it comes to newsletters - Bootstrapped Giants by Jesse Puljji

If you want actionable tactics of how to build a bootstrapped biz, Jesse’s newsletter is your go-to resource. Sign up here.

Alright, let’s get into it - 

Artificial Intelligence. AI. 

It’s everywhere. Silicon Valley’s next big thing. Over 5,500 AI companies sprung up in the US alone between 2013 and 2023. 

And the pace is only accelerating. 

Since the Open AI took the world by storm with ChatGPT, “AI” seems to be included in everything. Offered everywhere. 

It’s the Pumpkin Spice of SaaS. 

But what is AI exactly? And is it actually useful in ecom?

Read on and we’ll take you through the current state of play, 

and talk about how you can use it to level up your business…

But first - 

Tool Of The Week

Let’s switch gears a bit.

The last 3 weeks we’ve really been focusing on ramping up TikTok Shop. And we’re FINALLY starting to see some movement.

In case you’re still trying to find your groove – maybe this will help… 

Getting the right creators and getting A LOT of them were our biggest hurdles.

Why? Because everyone and their mother is using TikTok Shops affiliate center. So every affiliate is flooded with messages left and right.

Initially, we would reach out to affiliates through TikTok’s platform, but of course response rate was insanely low.

We needed a way for them to come to US – otherwise, we’re just drowning in their messages.

So we’ve been using Insense to do this and we’ve seen a solid uptake in matches and response rate. 

How? We created 2 detailed campaigns: one with a commission base structure alone and then a flat fee + commission structure

The latter is something we aren’t able to do natively in TikTok Shop – so Insense really came in clutch here.

We chose to do a $50 flat fee on top of the commission where a creator immediately gets paid $50 to promote the product – and any commission they get from their post is additional revenue to their bank.


This got a lot of applications rolling in – we sifted through and got 40+ perfect matches just in the last 3 weeks.

20+ of which have already gotten the samples and posted – we’re running Spark Ads on their content and started to see sales come in.

Our goal is to have more people organically reach out to us now that we have social proof of the product actually selling.

Insense has truly been able to help us with the nuances of TikTok Shop

And they’re even holding an offer just for our newsletter subscribers: $200 platform credit for your first campaign until July 5th

Head over to their website HERE and see how they can help you.

It’s done wonders for us. Maybe it could for you too.  

Let’s talk AI

Generative AI is very cool. It’s what has captured the imagination of everyone, including venture capitalists. 

But it’s not quite “all there” yet.   

First, be skeptical. 

Have you heard of the Gartner hype cycle? If not, then you’ve probably at least seen this chart:

We are currently climbing up that steep hype curve. 

A lot of what you see in AI these days are parlor tricks. Remember Devin, the first “coding AI agent”? 

True LLMs are a big leap forward and are improving all the time - but they still struggle with some rudimentary stuff. 

Sometimes they get basic math wrong. 

They can “hallucinate” nonsense responses when they don’t know the answer to a prompt. 

You’ve probably seen detailed AI images…that show people with too many fingers or extra limbs. 

An example…

We asked ChatGPT to draw a version of the Gartner Hype Cycle for this newsletter. Here’s what it came up with - 

Close - but not really, right?

Remember, ChatGPT isn’t “reasoning” or “thinking”.  

It’s using probabilistic models and pattern recognition to make an educated guess about what you want. 

That’s how you get the “Slope of Enlirectment” and “Placom of Producttity.” 

The real deal

Okay, we’ve rained on the parade long enough. 

Yes, AI is still early.

Yes, there’s probably more hype than substance so far. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t start using AI

- right now - 

To improve your business.

Here are some of the ways we are already starting to leverage AI at Obvi…

Level up your CS

Customer service is obviously vital if you’re a consumer brand. 

Must have. Non-negotiable. 

But it’s not like the old days when you could close up shop at 5pm. CS is always on in the digital age.

Luckily, AI agents don’t sleep. 

Or eat. Or take a vacation. 

And a lot of what customer service is in DTC is perfectly suited for what LLM’s are good at these days. 

Pattern recognition. Learning from repetition.  

Taking existing data and using it to respond to questions. 

AI agent platforms and vendors are popping up all over the DTC landscape, offering everything from ticket response management to conversational chatbots.

Heck, if you have a good prompt engineer, you can build your own chatbot using ChatGPT yourself.   

You still need a solid backbone of great human agents to make CS work. But now you can start to augment their abilities with a supporting suite of AI agents. 

Level up your ad development 

Of course, not everything you do with AI has to be customer-facing.

At Obvi, we have incorporated AI into our internal research and education processes. 

Because AI is great for analyzing large chunks of data and giving you the “gist” of it, much faster than any person could.  

Here’s how we use AI to speed up our video ad creation and new angle development for ads:

  1. Scrape all your customer reviews from Amazon and other review sites.

  1. Paste that PDF into ChatGPT and ask it to tell you the best things that people are saying about your product.

  1. Do the same thing with your competitors - but primarily on the negative comments so you can use that in your ads.

  1. Give it different script structures, and let it learn what a good and bad video ad script looks like (this can be done by feeding it course material).

  1. Provide examples of what a good and bad hook looks like.

  1. Give it information on what has performed well for your business and some overarching context.

  1. Have it help come up with ideas for a script, even if it’s just an introduction or a section and not the whole thing.

AI is great for getting new ideas that you might not have thought about, but you still need to put in the work and turn it from a 6/10 to a 10/10.

But getting to that 6/10 can be done much faster and using less mental energy using AI.

Here’s how to learn faster with AI

If you’re a DTC founder or operator, you’re probably busy. Really busy. 

Yet there are tons and tons of valuable resources out there, from podcasts and newsletters to full books and courses. 

If there’s anything you want to learn about but you don’t have the capacity, time, or energy to read through an entire book on the topic or take a course, 

AI can be used to collate, summarize, and concentrate the material for you in no time. 

Here’s how we do it -

  1. Compile a transcript into a PDF

  1. Let AI read it and learn from it

  1. Use AI to break down the concepts for you and give you illustrations of what good and bad looks like

  1. Ask it for a summary and notes so you can easily understand the full scope of the topic and then identify where you have gaps in your knowledge. 

Now you know where you need to dive deeper and repeat the process. Keep educating the AI with the broader material and then have it summarize it for you in digestible bites. 

BAM. You’ve got your own, personal, robot tutor on just about any topic you care about. 

 A note on prompt writing

Prompt writing is a skill of its own.

Make sure you always give the AI enough background and context when it comes to your specific situation. 

First, you have to train it on the good stuff, the best info you can. It will only be as good as the data you feed it.

But don’t just provide the information. Tell it what its job is and even who it is. 

“Pretend you are the lead copywriter for <Beverage Company Brand>. People want your product because it is tastier and healthier than the alternatives. Can you write 10 killer hooks based on…”

Make sense?

After that, iterate on the answers the AI is providing if you don’t feel they’re good enough. 

Keep at it until you have a strong base of responses to work from. 

Don’t abuse it

AI will help you ideate faster while using less time and mental energy.

But you still need to put in the work.

You might get a 6 or 7/10 job from AI, but you need to be critical and turn that into a 10/10 yourself.


As you onboard AI to scale your CS or improve internal learning, remember that people still value working with people.

It’s why founder stories resonate so much in marketing. 

Your customers want authenticity. 

Speed, efficiency, scalability, yeah...all this stuff matters.

But don’t saturate your business with fake influencers, 

fake agents, 

fake product shots, 

and fake ChatGPT copy. 

It will backfire. 

AI is a tool to be leaned on and leveraged strategically

It should not become a crutch. Your customers will notice. 

All the best, 

Ron and Ash