A recent study by SAP Emarsys, surveying over 2,000 UK shoppers, reveals that although more than two-thirds (70%) prefer brands offering personalized recommendations – a common application of AI in retail, less than half (41%) believe that AI has a positive impact on their retail experiences. This apparent contradiction highlights a need for retailers to educate and win over their customers regarding the benefits of AI.
The study found that 25% of consumers are concerned that AI will negatively affect their shopping experiences, and 91% would rather interact with humans than AI. Interestingly, less than one-third (31%) can distinguish between a human and an AI chatbot online.
One reason for this skepticism is that many shoppers aren't aware that AI is responsible for improving their shopping experiences. While consumers value personalized content, tailored recommendations, and quick checkouts, few realize that AI underpins these enhancements.
Data privacy is another concern, with 60% of consumers wanting retailers to strike a better balance between data collection and improving their shopping experiences.
To address these issues, Emarsys recommends that retailers educate customers about the value of their data to enhance their online experiences, emphasizing transparency in data usage. By doing so, retailers can foster trust and encourage the adoption of AI to create better, smarter, and faster decisions that benefit both consumers and brands.
Kelsey Jones, Global Head of Product Marketing at SAP Emarsys, emphasizes that the key to AI's success lies in its responsible use, explaining its value, and building trust through transparency.
Ritu Bhargava, President and Chief Product Officer at SAP Industry & Customer Experience, highlights the importance of data in making AI meaningful, emphasizing that transparency reassures customers about the secure and compliant handling of their data.
Rick Van Esch, MD at Sinch Engage, suggests that more consumers are embracing AI-powered interactions, partly due to experiences with AI like ChatGPT, which have demonstrated AI's benefits.
Dr. Lea Sonderegger, CIO and Chief Digital Officer at Swarovski, acknowledges AI as a value driver for businesses and customers, enabling advanced personalization and human-like conversational interactions.