Millennials Are All for AI, if it Elevates the Retail Experience

Baby boomers are less enthused

Author: Rimma Kats

September 26, 2017

New research from Salesforce finds that many consumers, particularly millennials, are open to artificial intelligence (AI) or other shopping-related technologies that help streamline the retail experience, like the ability to search for merchandise in a store using an image and then receiving product recommendations based on the attributes of that image.

For the most part, consumers want to receive personalized offers based on their purchasing history, or browsing activity within the retailer’s site or app.

Millennials are far more likely than their older counterparts to welcome retail technology capabilities. For example, over a quarter of millennials said they would like it if a retailer made personalized offers in a digital channel—such as email or a mobile app—based on their purchasing history. In contrast, just 11% of baby boomers felt the same way.

Similarly, 17% of millennials said getting orders delivered by a drone is appealing, while only 7% of baby boomers agreed.

Salesforce’s findings are in line with previous studies from Qualtrics for Rocket Fuel, as well as DigitasLBi.

Research from Qualtrics found that younger consumers value AI for recommending various products and services, more so than older generations. Meanwhile, the study from DigitasLBi revealed that 22% of US internet users would like to receive chatbot-based product recommendations from retail stores.

While AI may still be a new concept for many retail execs, among those who use it for marketing purposes, most use it in their search or recommendation engines, according to data from Sailthru.

Indeed, the largest share of retail marketers—over a third—said they use it in search efforts, and nearly as many said they do so in recommendation engines for their products or content.