artificial intelligence, brand marketing digital advertising

When it comes to resolving problems, consumers prefer to speak with a real, live person. But when it comes to other interactions, chat bots are preferred, according to a recent study from PointSource, a Globant company. The survey also revealed that when artificial intelligence is deployed tactically, one-third of shoppers will dole out more money on a online site.

Findings of the survey showed that when looking for product information online 34 percent of respondents preferred a chat bot over a human. With checking to see if products are in stock, 38 percent preferred AI/chat bots while 36 percent said the same for when they were looking for pricing information or discounts. Searching for delivery information and tracking deliveries garnered 36 percent and 39 percent of preferences, respectively.

“However, consumer comfortability with AI assistance significantly drops off for more complicated, high-stake retail interactions,” said a spokesperson for the company. “The study found 80 percent of consumers prefer to speak with a human when resolving problems post-purchase, and another 71 percent want the human element during the in-store experience.”

But when AI/chat bots are deployed tactically, 49 percent of respondents said they are “willing to shop more frequently” while 34 percent said they “will spend more money and 38 percent will share their experiences with friends and family.”

In the report from PointSource, “Finding Common Ground Between Consumers and Artificial Intelligence,” researchers said most consumers have had interactions with AI-powered chat bots, but might not have known it.

“However, according to our findings, just over half (54 percent) of U.S. consumers report having used an AI application in the past year,” authors of the report said. “Consumers still lack a firm understanding of what AI experiences can look and feel like today, which means that many AI-powered touch points go unrecognized as such.”

The authors of the report said that AI experiences occur daily for most consumers and include Facebook advertisements as well as Amazon recommendations, insurance underwriting and Google image searches. The AI experiences are well integrated into everyday experiences that it feels normal to consumers.

“This low barrier of entry helps brands get a foot in the door and boosts consumers’ comfort level with the changing technology,” researchers said in the report. “However, the ability of early AI solutions to reside beneath the surface has promoted a disconnect between consumers and the technology.”

What’s needed is a clear understanding of what consumers desire in a chat bot experience, which include addressing issues such as security, friction points, personalization and accuracy and overall enjoyment of the experience.

For more business news from WWD, see:

The Future of Retail Is AI-Powered and ‘Merchant-Imagined’

Amid Robust Online Sales Growth, a Dark Side Emerges

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce Retailers

Five Below’s Recipe for Disruption: Fast and Fun Product and Pricing

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