AI in Retail: 87% Willing to Share, Despite Privacy Concerns   

Although most consumers express concerns about the privacy implications of AI, they are still highly inclined to share their data in exchange for better deals and cost savings, revealed a survey by UserTesting.

In its global survey on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the retail sector, UserTesting looked into the attitudes and experiences of consumers in the US, Australia (AUS), and the United Kingdom (UK) regarding AI in retail.

According to the survey, 87% of respondents in the United States are open to sharing their personal information with retailers in exchange for cost-saving advantages. This willingness to share personal data is also echoed globally, with 76% of respondents expressing a similar sentiment worldwide.

However, it's important to note that 72% of global shoppers worry about privacy when engaging with AI during their shopping experiences. Among them, those in the UK show the highest level of apprehension at 75%.

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“The survey points to a complex relationship between consumers, privacy, and AI-driven retail experiences. Retailers capitalizing on AI technology must focus on building customer trust while continuously improving the shopping experience to navigate this dynamic landscape successfully,” said Lija Hogan, Principal Experience Research Strategy at UserTesting

As many as 74% of respondents worldwide are unsure about how their data is utilized, despite many not having a complete grasp of what AI entails. In the United States, 86% believe they understand AI well, but over half remain unclear about its functions. Globally, 75% claim to have a fair understanding of AI.

Interestingly, while 69% of US participants report negative encounters with AI in the retail sector, most respondents in the United Kingdom and Australia—69% and 70%, respectively—do not report encountering such issues.

Sharing personal data  

In the United States, a higher proportion of Americans, compared to the UK and Australia, feel comfortable sharing personal and family information. Specifically, 52% of Americans are willing to share their birthdate, 45% their full name, and 44% are open to sharing their spouse's or partner's name. Surprisingly, 36% are even willing to share their children's names. Among Gen Z individuals in the US, 69% are open to sharing their full name, 62% their birthdate, and 58% the name of their spouse or partner.

In the United Kingdom, 68% are comfortable sharing their email address, 58% would share their full name, and 53% would share their birthdate. Interestingly, among UK respondents, 80% of both Gen X and Baby Boomer generations are willing to share their email addresses, while Baby Boomers, at 63%, are the most willing to share their full names and birthdates.

In Australia, 68% of respondents are willing to share their email address, 57% their full name, and 50% their birthdate.

The impact of AI on the shopping experience  

A significant 73% of American shoppers think that AI enhances their shopping experience, with an equal 73% stating that it helps save them valuable time. For the younger Gen Z demographic, these numbers soar even higher, with 86% expressing a positive view. Additionally, among respondents, 66% find AI convenient, and 62% feel that it personalizes their shopping journey.

More than half (59%) of shoppers in the United Kingdom believe AI contributes to an improved shopping experience. Notably, Gen Z individuals hold a particularly positive perception, with a striking 93% viewing AI in retail favorably. Furthermore, 67% of UK shoppers feel that AI saves them time, and 59% think it enhances the personalization of their shopping experiences.

Among Australian respondents, 63% believe that AI positively impacts their shopping experiences, with Gen Z and Gen X demographics sharing a high 71% approval rating. Moreover, 67% feel that AI helps them save time, 59% believe it provides access to better deals, and 56% find it adds convenience to their shopping process.

In other news, UserTesting has introduced its new technology partner program - "ConnectTech " - to expand its network of integrated technologies