ChatGPT opens its own online store - entry into online retail?

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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OpenAI's ChatGPT program has made groundbreaking progress in the field of artificial intelligence. With the launch of the program in November 2022, a user-friendly AI tool has been brought to market that is free and easy to use. This makes ChatGPT, the fastest growing consumer application in history and achieved around 100 million active users in 2023 alone. This was followed by several collaborations with other companies and billion-dollar investments by Microsoft to further expand the AI tool. However, something that may have been overlooked in the current developments: ChatGPT now also offers its own GPT Store with exclusive services and extras for Plus, Team and Enterprise subscribers. Is ChatGPT now entering the online retail market? We took a closer look.

Store or playground?

The company recently enabled its users to provide their own specified applications (called GPTs) in a specially created storefront. The resulting applications are based on ChatGPT technology and range from private AI assistants for cooking recipes to tech support configurations. There are no additional costs for using these GPTs - but access is only possible for subscribers to the ChatGPT Plus, Enterprise or Team subscription models.

According to ChatGPT, the GPT Store is there to collect these emerging AI applications and make them available to users. However, the term "store" is somewhat misleading, as the applications are not available for purchase by external users, but can only be used freely by subscribers. Nevertheless, the company wants to enable its creators to earn money with the most successful applications in the long term. An initial idea would be to pay out money to the respective creators based on the usage behavior of the most popular applications. Although this profit option is set to take effect in the first quarter of 2024, it will initially only be possible for users in the United States with so-called "builder profiles". A corresponding model in Europe is not yet officially planned.

Inventory & forecast

It's no secret that artificial intelligence and AI tools in general are becoming increasingly important - including in online retail. According to the State of Commerce Report from Salesforce found that 77% of e-commerce companies worldwide already use AI programs. This means that the widespread introduction of AI tools in online retail is really only a matter of time.  

There are now already over three million individual GPTs in the GPT Store. The store will initially function as a central collection point for all created tools - similar to an app store. However, with the planned monetization of the applications created, ChatGPT will also become a significant player in the e-commerce industry.