Survey: Consumers ready to embrace AI this holiday season

Zachary Russell
Digital Editor
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88% of consumers plan to use some form of AI to help with their holiday shopping.

With anxiety looming for some consumers ahead of the holiday season, some consumers are ready to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) to help them with shopping.

Per the latest Talkdesk AI & Holiday Shopping Survey, which interviewed 1,000 U.S. consumers, 31% of American consumers dread or “tolerate” holiday shopping, with 44% saying they have anxiety finding the perfect gift. Gen Z consumers reported feeling this way the most (63%). Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) worry about whether they’ll be able to afford quality gifts for friends and loved ones.

TalkDesk said that to remedy these stressful feelings, AI is ready to be used to improve the holiday shopping experience.

“Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said the firm. “Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly permeated many facets of daily life, the most recent and noteworthy entry being large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT that can create virtually any content from a simple prompt. Now, AI is poised to change how consumers feel about holiday shopping thanks to its ability to find deals, share personalized gift recommendations, and empower a virtual shopping experience.”

According to the survey, 88% of consumers plan to use some form of AI to help with their holiday shopping, including in the form of chatbots, synthetic media and personalized brand recommendations. Nearly three-fourths (73%) plan to use an AI chatbot (such as ChatGPT) to find coupons, discount codes and cheaper prices, while 66% will explore personalized product recommendations directly from brands.

More than half (52%) of consumers plan to use AI’s image editing capabilities to personalize their gifts, like changing a model’s hair color to reflect the characteristics of recipients, and a similar number (49%) will use an AI chatbot to get gift ideas for a loved one. More than a third (35%) of those surveyed will use an AI chatbot to write holiday cards or messages.

If given the option, 40% of consumers overall would let a chatbot choose their friends and family members’ gifts on their behalf. More than half (54%) of consumers aged 25-34 would put gift-giving in AI’s hands, while only 28% of consumers over 54 would do the same. Three-quarters (76%) of consumers said they wouldn’t be upset or hurt receiving a gift chosen by AI.

For retailers and brands looking to utilize AI this holiday season, consumers demand accuracy, transparency and ethics, according to the TalkDesk survey. Two-thirds (68%) of shoppers say they would lose trust in brands if given inaccurate recommendations, 65% would not positively recommend the brand to loved ones and 53% would not return to shop again.

One in four (25%) consumers would stop shopping with brands that aren’t transparent about their AI use. Almost half (45%) of consumers say there would be an impact on their relationship with a brand if its AI chatbot offered biased product recommendations based on stereotypes, such as suggesting kitchenware or cleaning products for a female gift recipient.