Retail chatbots are fast becoming preferable to real humans for the majority of shoppers, as both consumers and retailers ramp up their use of the AI-powered chat assistants.
Voice and chat assistants are set to progressively replace visits to stores, with nearly 70 per cent of consumers stating they’ll turn to chatbots over real visits by 2022, according to new research from Capgemini Research Institute.
Since 2017 the use of voice assistants by existing customers to make purchases has risen from 35 per cent to 53 per cent, while the number of customers using chatbots for customer service interactions post-purchase has risen from 37 per cent to 52 per cent.
Consumer satisfaction in voice-based personal assistants on their smartphones has also risen since 2017 from 61 per cent to 72 per cent in 2019, while the satisfaction with smart-speaker devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home has risen from 46 per cent to 64 per cent.
Businesses are also seeing the benefits of increased adoption, with 76 per cent of the 1000 businesses surveyed stating that they have realised quantifiable benefits from voice or chat assistant initiatives, and a further 58 per cent stating they had exceeded expectations.
Despite this, fewer than half of the top 100 companies in the retail, banking and automotive sectors currently have voice or chat assistants.
“This research establishes that conversational assistants are the future of customer interactions, valued by consumers for their convenience and by companies for the operational efficiencies they enable,” Capgemini’s head of customer engagement Mark Taylor said.
“Compared to our study released in early 2018, a much higher proportion of consumers now foresee voice assistants as their first choice within the next three years. In the meantime, the expectations of customers are evolving as they progressively use the technology.”
“Privacy and security also remain paramount. Since our last research, it seems there has been little change in consumer concerns about how voice assistants affect privacy and data security. Companies must do more to address both these concerns and consumers’ increasing expectations, as conversational commerce increasingly moves into the mainstream.”