Use of AI in Retail Set to Explode 87 Percent

Retailers are increasingly turning to service and automation technologies that leverage AI in order to unlock new revenue, reduce costs and increase customer loyalty, satisfaction and lifetime value. 

Customer care automation platform Linc has released a study on just how much AI technology will transform customer engagement and the ecommerce arena as known by many Internet retailers.

The Linc study highlights the emphasis that retail executives are now placing on automated platforms to improve customer communication, with 87 percent of the 100 retailers surveyed planning an increase in the use of AI to service their customers moving forward, and 44 percent will use a conversational commerce interface. 

While only 7.7 percent of retailers have rolled out AI as a regular part of customer service to-date, adoption is growing rapidly. Thirty-four percent of retailers surveyed reported they have begun experimenting with customer-facing AI trials or pilots. 

Linc's study also suggests that retailers' use of AI will extend beyond routine customer service requests. 

Sixty-eight percent of retailers, for example, plan to use AI to route customer service requests, 52 percent will use AI to help track packages, 43.5 percent will use AI for product suggestions and 42 percent want AI to handle returns and exchanges in the next two years. The role of AI will not be limited to post-sale service, either, according to the research. AI will also be used to answer pre-purchase questions (39 percent) and for marketing (38 percent).

"The data provided by this survey is a clear indicator that the time is now for retailers to take action," said Luke Starbuck, VP of Marketing, Linc. "Sitting back and waiting to see what others do is not a defensible strategy and will not yield favorable results. Retailers need to act quickly to adopt AI technologies that will help them win and retain customers."