Retail Revolution – Openness to near future AI capabilities

It is no longer if and when people are using AI, but how often and how valuable their experience is. In the previous phases of the Retail Revolution global research initiative, we have covered the adoption and current use of AI technologies. In this phase, we looked at what people can see themselves doing with more sophisticated AI services being built by brands around the world.

Looking in particular at Voice, 56 per cent of consumers are already using some kind of voice assistant and 78 per cent of people are open to one, so it is likely here to stay. Therefore, we need to shift our attention from adoption to frequency of usage. Marketers should be interested in how much voice technology is being incorporated into people’s everyday lives.

Simple interactions, such as playing music and checking daily news, weather and traffic updates were cited as common uses across voice services, image technologies and home automation. For 26 per cent, these interactions are of little value so they are ‘Lapsed/Lapsing’ – using services less and less due to an absence of comfort or unsuccessful experimentation with the technology. 47 per cent of users are in the ‘Comfort Zone’, where usage has become a part of everyday life but only involves core skills and basic functions. On the other hand, 27 per cent are ‘Experimenters’ using assistants more and more, and actively finding new uses and applications to try.

“People are more open to AI and data sharing for simple interactions.”

Where are these new applications? Which activities in our dally lives can be enriched with new AI based experiences?

When it comes to voice apps, the top responses from our survey were ‘recipe guidance and ideas’ (76 per cent are open to this), ‘family entertainment’ (69 per cent) and ‘video content discovery’ (67 per cent). People are looking for help and inspiration in daily tasks, for example making cooking more interesting by adding a little spice or using a different ingredient. Children are leading the charge with family entertainment, using apps in fun family moments to play together as opposed to having individual screen experiences. When we do want to watch a screen, voice apps still have a role to play in helping us navigate the myriad of choice available, recommending the right content for the right moment.

So, how can marketers tap into these different types of users and drive habituation of not only Voice but all smart technologies? Simplicity and clarity are key. Brands should make sure consumers are open to using the technologies and then build trust with positive experience. 57 per cent of people want easier ways to discover new features and 44 per cent want easier ways to shop. Therefore, brands must design for simple interactions that are natural progressions of people’s current behaviors.

Smart technologies are delivering powerful experiences, but marketers need to sense check that they are creating experiences that people, and the technology, are ready for now and then build for the future.

“Thinking about future technology, people want easier ways to discover new features and uses.”

To download a summary of the study, please click here.

This blog post was originally published by OMD.

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