SAP SE reports that nearly four out of 10 consumers who own in-home assistants are considering using them for holiday shopping this year — to purchase gifts for others (16%), research deals and savings for gifts (15%), and for their own purchases (7%). These findings derive from a survey commissioned by SAP of 1,000 U.S. consumers, researching usage of artificial intelligence (AI)–powered smart devices for holiday shopping.
The survey affirms growing interest in relying on AI technologies for commerce and that companies already considering chatbots and voice-enabled assistants in their omnichannel strategy are on the right track.
More consumers trust AI to do their shopping
Voice-enabled speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One will be installed in 55% of U.S. households by the year 2022, according to research from Juniper Research. The smart assistants are seeing an uptick in adoption by U.S. consumers, who are increasingly using them for a variety of applications — from streaming music and making lists, to hearing the news, and even making purchases.
When it comes to holiday shopping specifically, the survey found that just 17% of consumers that own an in-home assistant said they used it last year. The increased interest in using the devices for holiday shopping in 2017 — more than double compared to the prior year — demonstrates a growing interest in relying on AI-powered technologies for commerce. The top reason for using an in-home assistant to purchase gifts is convenience, with more than 18% of respondents citing this as a key benefit.
“As retailers look to meet shoppers’ expectations for convenience and personalisation, artificial intelligence is playing a crucial role in the customer journey,” said Johann Wrede, global vice president of strategic marketing for SAP Hybris solutions at SAP.
“Chatbots and voice-enabled assistants deliver a convenient, hands-free experience, removing even more barriers to customer engagement. These technologies will not be successful on their own, however — they will need a rich set of customer data in order to make relevant recommendations and be truly helpful.”
Barriers prevent further adoption of smart devices for commerce
While AI is becoming more accepted for helping with holiday purchases, there are still many skeptics who haven’t gotten on board with using their in-home assistants for commerce. Only 28% of respondents feel that their device understands them well enough to recommend gift ideas.
Additionally, smart speaker owners report the top two limitations of the assistants as:
- Can’t determine visual product quality (20%) — shoppers want to be confident in their purchases and know what they look and feel like
- Requires too much guidance (19%) — consumers are looking for a seamless experience and want their devices to understand their needs and foster convenience
SAP® Hybris® solutions are being developed with a commitment to furthering AI and machine learning (ML) innovation and helping organisations overcome barriers to adoption. A ML co-innovation program has been launched with the goal of partnering with customers to embed new capabilities into SAP Hybris Sales Cloud and SAP Hybris Service Cloud solutions.
Additionally, SAP Hybris solutions offer components or features with embedded ML today, including advanced personalisation, contextual merchandising, customer experience, shopping assistant bot, best product, best offer, best channel, best sending time, best audience, affinity scoring, sentiment analysis, imaging intelligence, service ticket text analysis, and customer service bot.
See also an infographic on consumers’ use of AI for holiday shopping here.