Our startup has reached a milestone. Toucan launched our first app just a few weeks ago, and now it’s installed on over 100 Shopify stores.
Vishnu and I founded Toucan AI last year because the AI revolution in business was already happening, but for big companies, not for small businesses. We knew we could democratize it by enabling anyone who sells online to harness the capabilities of genuine machine learning. Not just in theory, but practically: we could make AI as easy to install and to start running as Shopify itself.
When we launched, we couldn’t have predicted some of the new kinds of stores that would use our app, but things develop quickly in this world. Today, the Toucan AI Sales Bot is recommending products to help gym-goers decide what home workout equipment to order. Parents have never before had to take on the task of thinking carefully about what size mask to get for their children. Now, medical equipment stores across Toucan’s network get those questions several times a day, and merchants are using us to answer those new FAQs without taking customers to less profitable webpages. Changes in peoples’ needs, and the ways merchants meet those unanticipated market demands, make the adaptability of AI more useful than ever. And the power of the Toucan AI Sales Bot to interact with every website visitor, 24/7, respond to their questions, and guide them to the right product, is more beneficial to small businesses than ever.
Nobody knows exactly what the landscape will look like tomorrow, much less at the end of this pandemic, but we can see that some of the changes aren’t going away. Consumers who were slow to adopt e-commerce are now used to shopping online, and existing consumers are making more digital transactions. Shopify is continuing to grow, and Toucan AI is continuing—with the help of AI as well as human ingenuity—to refine and improve the Toucan AI Sales Bot. Having a conversational agent will one day be as essential as having a website, and we’re building the infrastructure, customer experience, and merchant experience to prepare today’s small businesses for the future.