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Consumers keen to embrace AI

04 September 2017 - 09:24 by David Aiken

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Experiencing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something that more and more shoppers are looking forward to influencing, both in-store and online, according to a new study from Vista Retail Support.

Internet Retailing reports that almost three quarters of those questioned said that they believed AI would have a transformative impact on safe shopping online. Yet just a third said that they have encountered some form of this technology so far.

Analysts James Pepper said that the vast majority of people seem to be in favour of AI being used to enhance the world of retail.

One example of where AI can help streamline the process of safe shopping online is in providing real time support to customers without the need for human staff to be available around the clock. A similar effect can be achieved in bricks and mortar outlets through the use of digital assistants integrated in smartphone apps.

Seventy per cent of respondents to the survey confirmed that the idea of using a virtual assistant at high street outlets was appealing, especially if it was available from a dedicated kiosk, rather than requiring any other software or hardware on their part.

AI is seen as equally desirable as augmented reality (AR) when it comes to retail, as being able to combine virtual elements with real world environments throws up all sorts of possibilities.

Consumers wandering through shops in the future could use AR to carry out instant price comparisons simply by pointing their smartphone’s camera in the direction of a product, for example.

Consumers are essentially looking for solutions that will make it easier for them to shop online or in-store, with AI and AR presenting potential ways to streamline the experience and overcome some of the limitations which currently exist when human staff are involved.