Almost a third of consumers plan for new AI home devices

Written by Mark Evans
15/03/2018

Almost a third (32 per cent) of consumers surveyed globally plan to buy an AI device including robots or automated assistants, with retailers watching closely as 'voice commerce' develops in the home.

PwC's Global Consumer Insights survey, which assesses the shopping behaviour, habits and expectations of over 22,000 consumers in 27 countries reports that that 10 per cent of respondents already own artificial intelligence (AI) devices, such as robots and automated personal assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home, and 32 per cent said they plan to buy one.

Interest in the devices is strongest amongst consumers in emerging economies including China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Demand is generally lower in developed countries.

Across all markets, early adopters of AI devices tend to be men, aged 18-34, who are open to collaborative consumption, less likely to take action to reduce the risk of online security issues and fraud, and less price conscious.

John Maxwell, Global Consumer Markets leader, PwC, comments: "AI is moving very rapidly into the consumer and retail sectors. Consumers are shifting their shopping behaviours. As soon as they want something, they can order it, rather than think about it until their next shopping trip. Within two to three years AI could revolutionise how companies profile, segment and serve customers."

On data privacy, the survey reflects the ongoing tension for retailers on customer data. 41 per cent of respondents are comfortable with retailers monitoring their shopping habits to tailor special offers for them. Conversely, over a third (37 per cent) of consumers are protective about their privacy, and opposed to retailers identifying when they are nearby and targeting them with offers.