Brits back AI to improve shopping but fear for privacy

shoppersThe majority of Brits believe that introducing AI systems will improve the overall consumer shopping experience but are at odds with marketers over how the technology can tackle privacy concerns.
That is according to the IPA’s latest AI Radar – Consuming AI – which is based on a survey of 1,000 nationally representative British consumers and 100 UK advertising and marketing professionals.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, young adults (72% for 18-24s and 66% for 25-34s vs 52% for all adults) see the benefits of AI the most.
The areas where the public believe that the customer experience will benefit from AI are in providing a more convenient (67%) and faster service (55%), as well as in reducing human error (47%) and costs (42%).
However, only a third (33%) of consumers believe that introducing AI could provide better privacy and security during the shopping experience compared to nearly three-fifths (57%) of those in the marketing industry.
There are also 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).
IPA head of media and emerging tech Nigel Gwilliam said: “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.”

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