Generative AI Used By E-commerce Sites to Reach Out to Customers Enhances The Shopping Experience, Report Suggests

E-commerce - Generative AI

The newly released fourth annual commerce industry report by Coveo, a Quebec-based SaaS search engine powered by artificial intelligence, delves into consumer shopping preferences, expectations, and frustrations.

The study, titled “With Overwhelming Choice, What Really Drives Shopper Purchase Decisions?” was conducted in partnership with Arlington Research and surveyed 4,000 U.S. and U.K. adults to gain better insight into consumer spending habits.

One significant finding from the report is that generative AI is a major driver in shifting shopper expectations, particularly before consumers make their purchase decisions.

According to the report, 72 percent of consumers polled expect their online shopping experiences to evolve alongside advancements in generative AI, and 37 percent of shoppers expect pre-purchase education on products and their features.

E-commerce – Generative AI

Moreover, 31 percent of consumers expect a virtual assistant to help them select their products.

High expectations for online shopping remain prevalent, with 91 percent of shoppers expecting their satisfaction with online shopping to be equal to or greater than their in-store experiences. However, despite this high bar, 49 percent of consumers reported still experiencing problems when shopping online.

Another notable finding in the report is that while social media sparks consumer interest, retail websites must match up.

The report indicates that 39 percent of consumers (and 55 percent of Gen Z consumers) frequently encounter interesting products on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Yet, only 14 percent of shoppers said they completed their purchases through the same channel.

Search continues to be a major key in product discovery. Forty-nine percent of consumers stated their next step after discovering a product is to go through and purchase it directly on the retailer’s website. Additionally, nearly six in ten consumers prefer to research online through search and then buy products directly.

E-commerce – Generative AI

In an era where concerns over data privacy and usage are significant for merchants, 54 percent of consumers noted they would share more information about themselves if it led to an improved experience. This is an increase from last year’s report by Coveo, where 41 percent expressed the same sentiment.

This figure rises to 65 percent of consumers who would share information with brands they trust or if they received better deals and offers as a result. In last year’s Coveo report, 48 percent of consumers reported the same.

“With consumers spending pivotal moments of their shopping journeys online, brands must deliver brick-and-mortar and digital retail experiences that complement each other,” explained Lisa Grayston, general manager of commerce at Coveo.

“What’s more, nine in ten consumers are now expecting their online shopping experience to match or exceed the satisfaction of in-store experiences.

With the advent of generative AI, online shopping can transcend mere transactions and become conversational and advisory. It’s crucial for retailers to adapt to this shift before they lose ground to their competitors.”

Olivia Murphy
Driven by a commitment to excellence and integrity, Olivia strives to empower her audience with knowledge that enables informed decision-making and fosters a deeper understanding of the business world. She believes in the power of storytelling to bridge gaps, spark dialogue, and drive meaningful progress within the global business community.