Consumers and marketers views on AI and shopping

New IPA research shows the differences between consumer and marketers views on AI and the shopping experience. When it can help and when it should never be used.

Just over half of British adults believe that introducing AI systems will improve the overall consumer shopping experience according to the latest IPA AI Radar – Consuming AI.

Consumers believe AI will improve shopping experience

The research, based on a survey of 1000 nationally representative GB consumers and 100 UK advertising and marketing professionals, reveals that this feeling is particularly strong among young adults (72% for 18-24s and 66% for 25-34s vs 52% for all adults) and in adland (75%).

Consumers believe that the customer experience will benefit most from a more convenient (67%) and faster service (55%), as well as in reducing human error (47%) and costs (42%). Those working in marketing are far more likely to believe that introducing AI could provide better privacy and security during the shopping experience than the general public (57% vs 33%).

There are however significant areas where consumers believe that AI will fail to improve the overall consumer experience, particularly around shopping being less personal (68%) and the possibility of systems being hacked for criminal purposes (58%).

The research also shows that there are areas of the shopping experience that consumers would prefer to keep human-only, including managing a complaint (76%) and resolving pre and post-purchase concerns (67% and 66% respectively).

Says Nigel Gwilliam, Head of Media and Emerging Tech, IPA: “How people envisage AI improving the customer experience; making it a fast, convenient and cheaper process; is backed up by what aspects of the consumer journey they are most comfortable seeing being automated – recommendations and payment. Whereas there is a clear preference for human involvement during the shopping experience when people envisage an open conversation, such as registering a complaint. We firmly believe there will always be a role for people based-interactions, however, these will increasingly shift toward aspects of consumer/business interactions where the human element is high value to the customer and/or the business.”

Each quarterly AI Radar contains top-line data from an AI-focused survey and key headlines from the world of AI, as well as different opinion pieces on the state of play in AI.

The AI Radar is free to IPA members and £50 to non-members.

Last updated 21 January 2022