UK consumer perceptions of AI in retail and ecommerce


27% are likely to provide personal information to brands for exclusive deals

The evolving relationship between consumers and technology, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), remains a topic of profound interest and varied opinions. A recent survey set out to gauge the understanding, trust, and utilization of AI among Brits, shedding light on their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors as they intersect with this groundbreaking technology.

In a recent survey on the understanding and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) among Brits, it was found that a combined 68% have a varying degree of familiarity with AI. However, there's still a significant 32% who possess little to no comprehension of the technology. Many respondents associate AI with functions in voice assistants, customer service chatbots, the auto-generation of search terms, and the creation of images, videos, and video games.

Regarding the integration of AI into daily life, about 27% of respondents use AI predominantly through their phones, computers, and during online shopping. While AI's presence in shopping is felt in areas like product recommendations, customer support, and product suggestions, there is a notable 31% who have had less than positive experiences. Interestingly, there's a divided sentiment on AI's understanding of personal shopping habits. Some even feel AI has a deeper insight than their close acquaintances or even themselves. Despite the concerns, 59% are of the opinion that AI generally enhances the shopping experience by saving time, offering personalized experiences, and bettering shipping/tracking functionalities.

On the topic of trust, AI still has a long way to go in the UK. A mere 23% of those surveyed trust the technology, while a significant 38% are skeptical. While some are comfortable letting AI handle tasks like restaurant orders or reservations, there's a predominant apprehension about its roles in driving, managing finances, and health-related decisions. Although the average Brit believes AI can save them roughly 14 minutes each day, a sizable 48% feel the technology won't bring about any time-saving benefits. Moreover, while most individuals prefer to manage daily tasks on their own, 11% are inclined to let AI take the lead.

When it comes to personalized advertisements, 75% consider them intrusive and harbor concerns about their privacy when using AI-driven services. Major fears revolve around potential misuse of personal data and the threat of identity theft. However, it's noteworthy that 27% are still willing to share personal details like email addresses, full names, and birthdates in exchange for exclusive deals and personalized suggestions.

Focusing on shopping patterns, especially with Black Friday/Cyber Monday on the horizon, only 15% have shopping plans. Their approach to shopping is a mix of in-store and online methods. About 47% are open to utilizing AI for scouting the best deals. When it comes to budgeting for the shopping season, most respondents lean towards either increasing their spending or maintaining it at the previous year's level. Lastly, while online deal-tracking sites and search engines are popular for finding the best shopping deals, a significant number still rely on traditional in-person shopping to find the best bargains.

The insights from the survey underscore the complex dynamics between Brits and AI. While there's a discernible shift towards recognizing the benefits and conveniences AI offers, notably in shopping and personalization, trust remains a significant barrier. Concerns about privacy, data misuse, and the overt presence of AI in daily life manifest consistently. However, the willingness of some to share personal data for benefits suggests that the balance between convenience and caution is still in flux. As AI continues to integrate deeper into daily life, it's evident that its acceptance in the UK will be a journey marked by both optimism and caution.

Hear what respondents have to say. 

Infographic summary

Infographic for AI perception in retail and ecommerce in the UK