How retailers are leveraging AI chat

Most retailers are using AI chatbots.

A new survey of retailers reveals the adoption rate and latest usage trends in artificial intelligence (AI) chat.

According to the 2024 Retail AI Chat Adoption Survey from conversational AI platform provider On, almost three-in-four (73%) surveyed C-suite executives from major U.S. retailers have already implemented AI chat at their companies and more than 70% plan to increase their AI investment in the next 12 months.

Common responses among surveyed executives who are not currently using AI chat was that they are either currently implementing it, looking for the right provider, or will be investing in AI chat in 2024. Almost 72% of respondents reported that they are planning for an increase in their AI implementation budget in 2024, and 75% have adapted their technology investments entering 2024 because of the emergence of AI.

The majority of respondents said that AI chat’s ability to answer support inquiries is the most important success metric for them. However, 25% of respondents highlighted conversions as the most important driver of success.

When asked what workflows they have applied AI chat to so far, respondents’ most common answers were personalized recommendations (33%), predictive analysis (29%), and guided selling (11%).

According to On projections, more than 90% of respondents will have adopted AI chat by February 2025.

The survey also asked respondents to share the percentage of all inbound inquiries that their AI chat is able to answer in real time without live agent intervention. The results indicate that 70% of respondents said their chat automates 40% of inquiries or fewer, with the largest share of responses falling between 30% and 40% automation. 

"The ability of solutions to be multi-functional – serving customer support, revenue opportunities, and personalized customer experiences – has become critical in the sustainable adoption of chat,” said On president and chief business officer Richard Cheng. “With such rapid adoption ahead in 2024, chat providers must not only excel in basic support automation but also aggressively expand their functionalities to stay ahead in retail." 

Survey: Holiday shoppers open to AI recommendations

A recent survey from Talkdesk reveals that if given the option, 40% of holiday shoppers overall would have let a chatbot choose their friends and family members’ gifts on their behalf. More than half (54%) of respondents aged 25-34 would put gift-giving in AI’s hands, while only 28% of respondents over 54 would do the same. However, 45% said there would be an impact on their relationship with a brand if its AI chatbot offered biased product recommendations based on stereotypes.

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