Commentary

AI Shopping Assistants Next?

A future world where mobile-based AI technology permeates the most-loved and most-hated aspects of shopping is outlined in the new report, "Beyond Smartphone Shopping – the Rise of Smart Assistants," from Ericsson Consumer and IndustryLab, authored by Dan Alaimo.

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“The “Dive Brief” summarizes the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on personal shopping in the next three years:

  • With 43% of those surveyed reporting they make weekly purchases with their smartphones, global mobile commerce is expect to peak in the coming years, according to a study by Ericsson Consumer and IndustryLab.
  • Expect  63% of mobile shoppers will have a personal shopping advisor based on artificial intelligence within three years. There is an emerging demand for digital shopping assistants that will help with purchase decisions, from giving advice on style to narrowing product options and getting the best price, even negotiating with salespeople, according to a press release. They are also expected to handle more mundane tasks like returns, refunds, receiving deliveries when not home and household restocking chores.
  • Among users of augmented reality and virtual reality, 69% think these technologies will give smartphones all the benefits of physical stores within three years.”

The report’s authors acknowledge that all shopping will not take place through the mobile device while physical stores disappear. That is not realistic, says the report, although it does point to the changing role of the retail store. The sample of smartphone shoppers has a 34% lower preference for shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, and the report concludes that both size and location of physical stores will have to change to attract new interest from shoppers.

The social aspect of shopping won’t go away any time soon, says the report, as 40% of mobile shoppers frequently go to shopping malls to meet friends and “just enjoy looking at everything." 

 "Smartphone shopping will continue to peak on a global scale over the next few years, as the store moves into every user's hand," concludes the report. "However, we are already seeing the next wave of disruption coming – the rise of AI-based assisted shopping. Smartphone users are relying increasingly on the digital assistants in their phones for aspirational shopping support… “

 For additional information from Dive and the Ericsson Consumer and IndustryLab, please visit here.

 

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