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New Study Measures Consumer Attitudes Toward AI in Customer Support

By Tracey E. Schelmetic September 05, 2023

Digital River, an e-commerce solutions and services provider, recently released findings from a consumer survey aimed at helping brands navigate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and changing consumer expectations. The study, based on a survey of 3,000 people, specifically addressed consumer attitudes toward AI.

The study concluded that cultural differences are apparent in consumer attitudes toward AI, with U.S. shoppers less likely to know about and/or engage with the tech than their British and German counterparts. Specifically, the study found that:

  • Consumers in Germany (33%) were most likely to be familiar with AI prior to taking the survey, outpacing the U.S. (24%) and the UK (23%). Germans (38%) were also more likely to allow AI to automate routine orders for them than those in the UK (31%) and the U.S. (28%).
  • Only 15% of German consumers said that chatbots are not helpful, significantly fewer than in the UK (27%) and U.S. (26%). The most common complaints about chatbots included misinterpreting queries (42%), an inability to handle complex requests (37%), and difficulties in escalating to human support (33%).
  • 72% of Americans expressed that interacting with a human representative was important to them, slightly above the overall figure of 70%.

Consumers across geographies have not been as eager to integrate AI into their shopping experiences, but they are seeing its appeal when it comes to enhanced personalization. However, concerns around security and control have stemmed the tide of widespread adoption, the study concluded.

“It’s no surprise to see that shoppers have been slow in embracing AI in its nascency, especially given hesitations around data security and surrendering control,” said Ted Rogers, Digital River’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement. “It takes time for new innovations to be widely adopted, but brands should be proactive in honing their approach to AI and identify potential use cases to stay ahead of the curve.”

Edited by Alex Passett
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