Shopify unveils AI editor to enhance product images

1 Feb 2024

Image: © JHVEPhoto/

The idea behind the new media editor tool unveiled yesterday is to help small sellers compete with bigger, more resourceful ones using artificial intelligence.

Multinational e-commerce giant Shopify has announced a spate of new generative AI features, including an image editor that lets sellers enhance product images.

Called Shopify Magic, the suite of generative AI tools announced yesterday (31 January) will be integrated across the platform’s products and workflows to make it easier for users to start, run and grow their business.

With the image editor, sellers can leverage AI to adjust their product pictures to make them look more professional without needing any prior knowledge or expertise in using tools like Photoshop.

“With Shopify Magic, you can remove the background from a product image, or replace the background with either a solid colour or an AI-generated background,” the company wrote.

“You can select from scene presets, generate a new background using descriptive keywords or short phrases, or choose an existing image from your store library to use as reference for the background that Shopify Magic generates.”

This is in line with many other tech companies, such as Meta, Google and Amazon, that have given advertisers the option to generate backgrounds using generative AI.

Glen Coates, vice-president of product at Shopify, told The Verge that many sellers on the Canadian e-commerce platform don’t have access to big studios or professional photographers, putting them at a disadvantage when competing with bigger players.

“We know not everyone has access to studios or mannequins, so we want to lower the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs to present their products in the best light,” Coates said of the free tool. “We’re not forcing anyone to use this feature, but it will be an extra helping hand.”

Other than the media editor, Shopify also unveiled an early-access AI assistant called Sidekick, which the company claims will help sellers increase productivity, improve workflows, make smarter decisions and spend less time on operational tasks.

Last May, the company cut 20pc of its global workforce as it prepared for a decade of “high velocity and massive change”.

CEO Tobias Lütke said at the time that the company was changing its shape to pay “unshared attention to our mission” and said Shopify planned to focus on making commerce easier, moving away from its “side quest” objectives.

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic