Only half (51%) of shoppers believe that Artificial Intelligence positively impacts their shopping experience. Despite this, more than three-quarters (77%) of shoppers prefer brands that offer personalized recommendations, an everyday use case for AI in retail.
These results come from a new study from SAP Emarsys, which surveyed more than 4,000 US buyers. The research suggests an apparent conflict between consumers’ concerns about AI and their desire to reap the real benefits of its use – highlighting an opportunity for retailers to educate and build customer loyalty.
According to the study, almost a quarter (24%) of consumers fear that Artificial Intelligence will negatively affect their shopping experience. In comparison, 86% say they prefer interacting with humans over Artificial Intelligence. Interestingly, less than 3 in 10 (27%) can distinguish between a human chatbot and an Artificial Intelligence one on the Internet.
According to Emarsys analysis, this negativity is often due to consumers not seeing that Artificial Intelligence is behind their best experiences. Although buyers value personalized content, tailored recommendations and speed of payment, only some realize that Artificial Intelligence is behind these advances.
The research also highlights that many consumers are concerned about data collection for Artificial Intelligence, with 63% wanting retailers to find a better balance between collecting their data and improving their shopping experiences. Given this, businesses are advised to educate their customers about the value of their data to improve their experiences on websites, apps, and even mobile wallets.
Artificial Intelligence’s benefits in retail should also be balanced in the eyes of brands or customers. It’s clear that shoppers aren’t entirely convinced of the value of AI at the moment, but when used responsibly, it can really improve the user experience in every aspect – from receiving recommendations that are more tailored to their needs to facilitating the purchasing processes”.
Data – as long as it is correct and in the right quantities – is essential to obtain the maximum benefit from AI. This becomes a significant tool that can help brands create the personalized experiences necessary to drive business growth, provide value to consumers and build customer loyalty.”
Typically, people are more willing to share their data when it provides direct value: savings, efficiency, and stronger connections with brands.
However, transparency is critical to building trust between customers and brands. Sharing how data is used every time a customer creates an account, subscribes to marketing communications, or agrees to have their data transferred is one way to assure customers that their data is treated securely and following the laws.
Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly a value driver for customers and companies, as it helps raise personalization to the highest level. Thanks to sophisticated algorithms, we can now understand our customers like never before, anticipate their needs and offer human-like conversational interaction .