As AI continues to drive the conversation around the future of commerce, a new consumer behavior survey from Rokt and Harris Poll looked to Gen Z for insights on the changing expectations of today’s shoppers.
According to the study, 88 percent of global Gen Z respondents believe that AI can improve online shopping. With an overall optimistic outlook about AI’s role in e-commerce, 55 percent of the Gen Z respondents also indicated an interest in an AI assistant that could “make online shopping more convenient by simplifying product discovery and anticipating their needs and desires.” More than half (51 percent) of these respondents also said they are interested in augmented reality and virtual reality shopping experiences.
When prompted, the survey’s Gen Z respondents identified the top five ways they believe AI will improve online shopping which include making it easier to compare prices (47 percent), find deals (45 percent), receive relevant offers and product suggestions (41 percent), receive personalized assistance (37 percent) and find reviews (28 percent).
“Brands and retailers across categories are scrambling to identify how they can best use AI to elevate their e-commerce customer experience and drive revenue,” said Elizabeth Buchanan, chief commercial officer at Rokt. “This research provides decision-makers with a roadmap for creating new strategies and implementing advanced tech, such as AI, to significantly help improve the online shopping experience in ways that will surprise and delight shoppers.”
Notably, the companies also polled consumers from older generations (respondents consisted of more than 6,000 consumers ages 18-78) and found that today’s overall U.S. consumers prioritize relevant deals and personalized experiences over other factors. These U.S. consumers ranked “relevant deals” as the top concern they are interested in when shopping, with 55 percent of Gen Z respondents reporting interest in curated deals from their favorite influencers and creators.
Citing inflation, 63 percent of all U.S. respondents said they now spend more time online searching for lower prices, relevant deals and offers. And when a shopping experience does not feel personalized, 20 to 29 percent of consumers also said they will walk away from their cart, the brand or the experience.
Importantly, findings in the survey also point to the vital power that the checkout experience holds over consumers’ perception of a brand. For a majority (73 percent) of U.S. survey respondents, in particular, it is common to experience a form of frustration or barrier at checkout including having to log in/make an account (33 percent), too many ads at checkout (34 percent) or irrelevant ads and product recommendations (33 percent). As a result, 40 percent say they have abandoned their cart and 22 percent lowered perceptions of that brand.
Noting positive experiences at checkout, 73 percent of global Gen Z respondents agree that “it’s satisfying when I find something I needed last-minute while checking out” and 67 percent said that they “enjoy the feeling of adding a little something extra to my online shopping cart when I’m checking out.”