RichRelevance’s fourth annual “Creepy or Cool” survey reveals that artificial intelligence (AI) has entered the mainstream with two out of three Americans (67%) reporting that they’re at least somewhat familiar with the term. One in three respondents (32%) are at least somewhat positive about AI, yet an overwhelming majority (81%) think companies are obligated to tell consumers that they’re using AI - and how they’re using it.
Despite recent news cycles on how companies misuse customer data, a majority of Americans (59%) remain willing to share data in return for a better customer experience and most (40%) say it should be collected anonymously - referring to the ability to collect without explicitly linking to an individual for personalization purposes. This is on par with 2017, where 63% said they would allow retailers to collect more customer data to improve the customer experience.
The survey also asked Americans to share their opinions on specific technologies to improve the shopping experience. Key findings include:
Clothing and wearables include sensors/tracking devices that allow retailers to track you in exchange for a discount.
• 76% Creepy (vs. 10% Cool)
Companies understand your shopping habits so well that they are able to use artificial intelligence to choose and automatically order products on your behalf.
• 69% Creepy (vs. 14% Cool)
Facial recognition technology identifies you as a loyal customer as soon as you enter and relays your preferences to the salesperson in-store.
• 61% Creepy (vs. 24% Cool)
Robots guide you to specific products within store aisles upon request.
• 48% Cool (vs. 32% Creepy)
You can use fingerprint scanning to pay for items and get automatic home delivery, all from the store floor.
• 46% Cool (vs. 31% Creepy)
Younger shoppers (ages 18-29) are keen to embrace new technologies. Younger shoppers feel that AI-based personalization is valuable (66%) and are less likely to find innovation creepy. Significant generation gaps include:
Computer programs (such as chatbots) use artificial intelligence to help you answer customer service questions, rather than a real person.
• Overall: 41% Creepy; Millennials: 27% Creepy
An augmented reality app allows you to view products in a store and then displays associated information and recommendations, including whether you need to replenish what you have at home.
• Overall: 36% Creepy; Millennials: 26% Creepy
Voice assistants within your home (Amazon Alexa, Google Home) provides personalized product information and suggested products for you and your family.
• Overall: 41% Creepy; Millennials: 32% Creepy
The survey of 1,037 US consumers was conducted in May 2018. For more information, visit RichRelevance.