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Consumers say ’tis the season to embrace AI in online shopping

Explore the holiday shopping 2023 survey infographic

Mike Tague

October 02, 20234 minutes

Bot dressed as Santa Clause, illustrating the importance of AI in online shopping this holiday season

LivePerson recently surveyed 1,000 US consumers to determine how they prefer to engage with artificial intelligence — and how that will impact the 2023 holiday shopping season. The survey collected responses on brand loyalty, shopping preferences, and overall satisfaction with AI in online shopping, customer service, and sales.

The key takeaways?

Consumers say AI makes shopping better, is preferred over traditional personalization and shopping experiences, and can save about 10% of conversations that would otherwise be lost as soon as they’re put on hold.

What does that mean for your brand?

It’s time to start putting AI elves to work building a more efficient sales process. Brands that retain control over their own conversations and use AI in the right way to connect with consumers will thrive this holiday sales season and beyond.

Check out more AI in online shopping facts in the infographic below, or scroll on:

Infographic about AI technology and natural language processing can help holiday shoppers navigate the online shopping world

6 facts about using AI for customer interactions

Artificial intelligence is shaping up to be a game-changing tool for brands that want to stand out this holiday season, from personalizing experiences to making shopping feel more convenient, helpful, and engaging. Following are 6 facts our survey’s customer data tells us:

1) Consumers say AI makes shopping for holiday gifts easier and more engaging, but brands need to make sure these experiences feel authentic

  • 74% of consumers say AI makes shopping for holiday gifts easier and more engaging.
  • 61% say it makes shopping more interesting.
  • 58% say it increases their creativity.
  • However, just 31% say shopping with AI is a more personalized shopping experience.
  • 48% say it makes shopping feel more relevant.
  • 40% say it feels more under their control.

2) Shoppers prefer AI-powered experiences to traditional personalization methods like cookies or traditional channels like physical catalogs

Compared to cookies…

  • 78% say AI is more convenient.
  • 68% say AI is more interesting.
  • 65% say AI is more helpful.
  • 64% say AI is more accurate.
  • 51% say AI is more safe.

Compared to catalogs…

  • 71% say AI is more convenient.
  • 64% say AI is more interesting.
  • 65% say AI is more helpful.
  • 59% say AI is more accurate.
  • 45% say AI is more safe.

3) Hold times really matter

The option to speak with an AI chatbot makes a difference when it comes to how long people will wait on hold to speak with a person. The magic wait time for phone conversations appears to be 5 minutes or less:

  • 20% of people would never wait on hold again, opting for an AI-led conversation.
  • 45% would remain on the line for 5 minutes.
  • 20% of people would wait 10 minutes.
  • 10% of people would wait 15 minutes.
  • 95% of people would prefer to talk to AI if their hold time was over 15 minutes.

Note: 10% of survey respondents say they’d never wait on hold in the first place, meaning brands could rescue a massive chunk of lost holiday spending opportunities just by providing an alternative to phone calls. (For example, check out our IVR deflection options.)

4) Consumers are more comfortable using AI in online shopping

In spite of all the chatter about AI safety and privacy, 55% of consumers are more comfortable using a virtual shopping assistant like a bot this holiday season compared to last year, not to mention the past few years.

5) Increasing trust is within your control

If an AI chatbot explained how it protects privacy and customer data before starting the conversation, 64% say their trust would increase.

6) Shoppers are ready to message with AI bots…if we give them the chance

Only 39% have messaged with their favorite brands during previous holiday shopping seasons, but 85% are open to it for the 2023 holiday season.

The bottom line?

Businesses now have the opportunity to regain control over the very thing that defines their relationship with their customers: conversations. After all, consumers prefer shopping experiences that use AI to engage with them on their time on the channel of their choice, are more comfortable using AI for shopping, and are ready to ditch phone calls for AI conversations.

It’s time to bring back real customer conversations.

Watch how the world’s largest luxury reseller quickly reached over 90% in CSAT and FCR by playing to consumers’ conversational preferences