Ninety-one per cent of retailers are investing in generative artificial intelligence (AI), demonstrating their commitment to find new ways to build shopper loyalty.
Of those consumers leading the way on generative AI-led shopping, millennials have shown the most enthusiasm, with 52 per cent of shoppers within that generation interested in using the technology to source gift ideas, according to the Connected Shoppers Report from Salesforce and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
“Consumers are traversing a number of physical and digital touchpoints throughout the shopping journey from browsing in stores to buying on social,” says Rob Garf, VP and general manager, Salesforce Retail.
“Our research shows that generative AI is a game changer for retailers to increase personalisation and decrease friction, ultimately driving loyalty and increasing share of wallet.”
Stores now more than ever function as ecommerce fulfillment centres, with many ANZ retailers offering services like buy-online-pickup-in-store (47 per cent) and ship-from-store (63 per cent). Twenty-four per cent of store associates in Australia and New Zealand use mobile devices to complete tasks away from the register.
“High-tech and high-touch are becoming vital tools to entice the modern shopper,” adds Paul Zahra, ARA CEO.
“Today’s customers want it all―a tailored, fast, frictionless shopping experience―and artificial intelligence tools certainly have the potential to improve that experience.
“In overseas markets, we’re already seeing the uptake of interactive technologies such as the virtual fitting room and it’s only a matter of time before these reach the Australian retail landscape.”
Fifty-three per cent of ANZ shoppers report purchasing on social media, up from six per cent in 2021. This is part of the shift to digital shopping channels―an estimated 42 per cent of transactions will occur over digital channels in 2023 and this is expected to rise to 49 per cent in 2025.
“Social media has become an intrinsic part of the shopping experience. Retailers who use social media in their broader marketing strategies will be best placed to succeed. Likewise, with loyalty and rewards programs. Advancing these incentives is critical to entice and retain customers amid the cost-of-living crisis.”