New Study Reveals AI’s Impact on Consumer Shopping

AI

With the rapidly increasing use and adoption of AI in their day-to-day lives, U.S. shoppers now expect retailers to leverage this technology to improve their buying journeys, according to new research from Intellias

While shoppers seem to embrace AI, research also reiterates that concerns regarding the privacy and security of personal data are still persistent. As long as retailers reassure consumers that their information is safe, AI is a great tool that can help boost brand awareness and sales. 

Here are the top 5 areas where AI delivers the most value to U.S. consumers, according to the study:

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  1. Pricing and promotions (28%)
  2. Loyalty and real-time personalized rewards (23%)
  3. Product discovery when searching online (23%)
  4. Product validation (19%)
  5. Product recommendations personalized by AI (19%)

More Consumers Are Using AI

Intellias’s research also found that almost half (33%) of U.S. consumers already use Generative AI (GenAI) tools, such as ChatGPT, in their everyday lives. That number rises to 60% of Millennials and 49% of Gen Z. 

This widespread and fast-growing adoption of GenAI is prompting shoppers to recognize where they encounter the technology within their buying journeys, with 41% of consumers currently aware of retailers using AI in shopping experiences, according to the study.

AI Can Help With Pricing and Promotions

With ongoing cost-of-living pressures continuing to encourage pricing- and promotions-sensitive shopping behavior, AI applications in pricing and promotions topped where U.S. consumers felt AI added the most value in their online buying journeys, the research states.

Over a quarter (28%) of shoppers said AI-powered automated pricing and real-time promotions would enhance their buying experiences. This is followed by AI use within loyalty schemes to deliver personalized rewards and offers for 23% of those polled, the study found. 

However, 19% of U.S. consumers said AI chatbots and virtual assistants proved to be disruptive in their shopping experiences, with 20% saying interactions with these chatbots made them want to abandon a purchase.

Areas of Concern With AI

With the speed at which GenAI has been adopted by retailers and consumers in 2023, it’s almost inevitable that the pace has led to some wariness among shoppers. Intellias’s study highlighted some areas of concern with AI:

  • A significant 66% of respondents expressed worry about how their data is used following an AI interaction during their shopping journey
  • 71% of respondents believed that shopping will always require human interaction, regardless of advancements in AI

However, 57% said they don’t mind retailers using AI in their buying journeys, so long as they were transparent about it. That number rises to 66% of Millennials, according to the study. A further 46% felt that as long as they had a good experience with a retailer or brand, they didn’t mind if it involved AI or not.

AI’s Use Expected to Increase in 2024

“There’s little doubt that the hype curve surrounding GenAI will continue to accelerate in 2024,” Alexander Goncharuk, VP of Retail at Intellias, said in a news release. “And this will be driven both by the consumer who will become even more used to AI-interfaces in their day-to-day lives, as well as by the retailers innovating and exploring different use cases that drive efficiencies and enhance customer experience across the value chain.”

“Looking ahead, the key to delivering AI-powered value to the shopper will rely on transparency of use, and seamless and intuitive integration as part of the omnichannel shopping experience, as well as building out robust and secure compliance procedures in the back-end,” Goncharuk concluded.