ChatGPT and Metaverse adoption drive demand for product information delivered via Augmented Reality and AI-powered chatbots

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: ChatGPT and Metaverse adoption drive demand for product information delivered via Augmented Reality and AI-powered chatbots.

Growing ChatGPT and Metaverse adoption are driving up greater demand for virtually-driven and AI-powered product information in UK shoppers’ buying journeys, the latest data from Akeneo, the Product Experience (PX) company, reveals.

Original research of over 1,800 shoppers in its latest ‘2023 B2C Survey: Product Experience Satisfaction Around the World’ Report, showed that now 69% of UK consumers want to use Augmented Reality (AR) to find product information in their buying journeys as the Metaverse enters the mainstream – up +27% year-on-year.

Despite coming up against recent scepticism that it is overhyped, consumer adoption of retailers’ Metaverse offerings are increasing; with 42% of Gen Z shoppers now engaging with brands via web3 according to Retail Technology Show’s latest data, KPMG’s latest poll revealed that 47% of UK consumers believe the Metaverse will be widely adopted in the next ten years.  And in spite of some retailers pulling back from the Metaverse, with Walmart pulling its Universe of Play space on Roblox after a 6month pilot, other retailers and brands, including H&M which launched its Stranger Things collection on its Looptopia Roblox experience in May, continue to build and grow their virtual presence within the next retail dimension.

Following the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT app in the UK in November 2022 adoption of chatbot and AI-powered conversational tools – both by consumers and by retailers – has quickly accelerated: ChatGPT reportedly reached 100million users just two months after launching, while Google quickly launched its own rival AI-chatbot, Bard, in March 2023.  

And this is prompting consumers to increasingly expect chatbot-generated product information in their buying journeys, with demand growing +22% year-on-year to 59% who want chatbot interaction in their paths to purchase, according to Akeneo’s poll. 

“While it’s clear consumers are quickly adopting new virtual or AI-driven ways to engage with brands in the discovery stage of their buying journeys, it’s important to remember that these digital touchpoints are one part of the whole omnichannel product experience,” said Kristin Naragon, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Akeneo. “To ensure that consumers stay with you on the path to purchase, your products’ stories a need to show up everywhere your shoppers do, otherwise you risk not delivering against your customer experience (CX) promise, which could lead to lost sales and repeat purchase opportunities.” 

Methodology

For the study, Akeneo set out to gain insight into exactly how consumers make decisions when buying products and what product information they use to make those decisions.  The surveys were conducted from January 28 to February 8 and were completed by 1,800 consumers aged 18 and older from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The resulting report is aimed to assist brands in understanding what consumers’ expectations are when evaluating products, thus highlighting the importance of prioritizing enriched product experiences. 

Last year, Akeneo released its first global B2C survey report and it has quickly become the premier benchmark report for retailers making decisions on omnichannel product experiences. This year, the 2021 survey was repeated with minor amendments to the questionnaire, in order to compare consumers' product experience satisfaction year-over-year.

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