Generative AI is making waves in the retail industry, according to a new report by Salesforce. While industries such as software development and content creation may be the first to come to mind when thinking about AI, the report highlights that 17% of shoppers have already used AI for purchasing inspiration, indicating the rapid growth of this technology in retail.
Generative AI in retail can be seen in various forms, including personalized recommendations based on past purchases and browsing behaviors, virtual try-on tools, interactive shopping assistants, and visualizing home decor. The survey, which involved 2,400 shoppers and 1,125 retail leaders across 18 countries, also revealed that 45% of shoppers are interested in using generative AI as a shopping resource, even if they haven’t actively used it yet.
The survey found that the highest interest in using generative AI in retail was in the research of electronics and appliances, followed by creating meal plans and getting outfit inspirations. Beauty recommendations ranked last in terms of interest. Retailers are capitalizing on this growing interest, with 92% of those surveyed stating that they are investing more in AI than ever before. Additionally, 59% of retailers are already using AI to assist store associates in making product recommendations to shoppers.
The adoption of generative AI by retailers is not surprising, as several companies have publicly announced their use of this technology. Examples include Newegg, Shopify, Amazon, Mercari, Zoom, Zillow, and Redfin. The survey also revealed that retailers are interested in utilizing generative AI to create conversational digital shopping assistants, develop virtual models for product detail pages, and offer personalized product bundles.
The Connected Shoppers Report, which explores the impact of digital tools on the shopping experience, also delves into changes in digital transactions, social media purchases, mobile phone usage in stores, and online purchases for in-store pickup. The role of brick-and-mortar stores is also evolving in response to these digital advancements.
Overall, the report emphasizes the growing influence of generative AI in the retail industry and highlights the various ways in which it is being utilized to enhance the shopping experience for consumers. With the majority of retailers investing in AI and shoppers expressing interest in using it as a resource, it is clear that generative AI is set to play a significant role in shaping the future of retail.