Press Release

UserTesting's Global Survey Uncovers Consumer Willingness to Trade Privacy for Better Deals in AI-Driven Retail—What Retailers Need to Know

Study Reveals Contradiction: 87% of Consumers Willing to Share Personal Data for Savings, Yet 70% Worry About Privacy in AI Interactions

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Sept. 14, 2023 – UserTesting, a leader in experience research and insights, today unveiled findings from its AI in retail global survey conducted by OnePoll. The survey examines US, AUS, and UK consumer attitudes and experiences concerning the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail. Key findings suggest a paradox: While a majority of consumers voice privacy concerns over AI use, they are still overwhelmingly willing to exchange personal data for better deals and savings. 

The survey shows that in the United States, 87 percent of respondents are amenable to providing personal information to retailers for cost-savings benefits. Globally, this sentiment holds true for 76 percent of respondents. However, 72 percent of global shoppers report concern over privacy issues while interacting with AI during their shopping journeys. Among them, UK shoppers exhibit the highest level of apprehension at 75 percent. 

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A striking 74 percent of global respondents express uncertainty over how their data is being used, yet many lack a comprehensive understanding of AI. In the United States, 86 percent think they understand AI, but over half are unclear on its functionalities. On a global scale, 75 percent claim to either have “very well” or “somewhat well” understanding of AI. 

Surprisingly, while 69 percent of US respondents report negative experiences with AI in retail, the majority of respondents in the United Kingdom and Australia—69 and 70 percent respectively—indicate no such issues. 

“The survey points to a complex relationship between consumers, privacy, and AI-driven retail experiences,” said Lija Hogan, Principal Experience Research Strategy at UserTesting. “Retailers capitalizing on AI technology must focus on building customer trust while continuously improving the shopping experience to navigate this dynamic landscape successfully.” 

Additional Key Insights Include:

Perceptions on Data Sharing–
United States: A higher percentage of Americans, compared to UK and Australian shoppers, are comfortable sharing both personal and family information. Specifically, 52 percent would share their birthdate, 45 percent their full name, and 44 percent their spouse's or partner's name. A surprising 36 percent would even share their children’s names. Among Gen Z, 69 percent are willing to share their full name, 62 percent their birthdate, and 58 percent the name of a spouse or partner.

United Kingdom: 68 percent of UK respondents are willing to share their email, 58 percent their full name, and 53 percent their birthdate. Interestingly, 80 percent of both Gen X and Baby Boomer respondents are willing to share their email address, while 63 percent of Baby Boomer respondents rank the most willing to share both their full names and birthdates. 

Australia: 68 percent of Australians would share their email address, 57 percent their full name, and 50 percent their birthdate. Millennials in Australia are most willing to share their birthdate (58 percent).

AI and the Shopping Experience–
United States: Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of American shoppers believe AI enhances their shopping experience, and 73 percent say it saves them time. For Gen Z, these numbers jump to 86 percent. And while 73 percent believe AI saves them time, 66 percent think it adds convenience, and 62 percent feel it personalizes their shopping experience. 

United Kingdom: In the United Kingdom, 59 percent believe AI improves their shopping experience. Gen Z stands out with a 93 percent positive perception of AI in retail. And while 67 percent feel AI saves time, 59 percent think it enhances personalized shopping experiences. 

Australia: 63 percent of Australian respondents say AI improves their shopping experience, with Gen Z and Gen X both at 71 percent. And while 67 percent think AI helps save time, 59 percent feel it gives them access to better deals, and 56 percent believe it adds convenience to their shopping. 

“Bringing new technology into the retail experience and keeping customers informed is complicated. Successful AI integration will hinge on transparently communicating its benefits to customers, while prioritizing their safety and privacy,” concluded Lija Hogan.

Survey methodology: 
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population of Americans, 1,000 general population from the United Kingdom and 1,000 general population of Australians was commissioned by UserTesting between August 3 and August 5, 2023. All respondents were adults. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

To access the UserTesting AI & Shopping Report, click here.

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UserTesting, Inc.
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