Shoppers expect boom in AI tech post COVID-19

More than half (65 per cent) of consumers expect to see a rise in touchless interactions, voice assistants and facial recognition after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study of the growth of AI in retail.

The survey of 950 organisations by Capgemini found that a majority (53 per cent) of retail organisations have continued to progress their artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, despite the disruption brought by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The need to minimise human to human contact by deploying AI-led technologies will be a growing trend in the coming months, with 69 per cent of retail executives believing that consumer preference for non-touch practices will persist even after the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

As a result, 79 per cent of those leading companies providing AI-at-scale services said that had seen over 25 per cent increase in sales of traditional products and service, and 62 per cent had seen a decrease in the number of complaints related to their technologies.

Just under half (49 per cent) of retail organisations surveyed said they had launched proof of concept projects of AI-led technologies, but had not yet deployed in production.

A further 30 per cent said they had deployed a few use cases in production on a limited scale and 21 per cent said they had successfully deployed use cases in production and continue to scale more throughout multiple business teams.

The Capgemini analysis highlighted how the retail sector had progressed in the development and maturity of its AI use cases had improved in last last two years.

“In research we conducted into AI in the retail industry in 2018, we found that while AI penetration was quite high, many struggled to scale the use cases.

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