Do consumers think customer service chatbots are useful when purchasing groceries online?
March 8th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

Do consumers think customer service chatbots are useful when purchasing groceries online?

The sudden popularity of ChatGPT has led many industries to think about a future with Artificial Intelligence. But while companies are introducing chatbots and accepting AI into the fold, how are consumers finding this experience?

In a recent YouGov poll we asked consumers across 18 global markets, when purchasing things online, in which categories do they think customer service chatbots can be useful.

According to the survey data, a significant share of overall consumers say that chatbots are not useful in any category (29%). 

Among consumers who do find chatbots useful, they’re most likely to say it’s to be the case for purchase of mobile phones (16%) and electronics like TVs and laptops (16%). Air travel and hotels (15%) and clothing/shoes (14%) follow close behind. The perceived usefulness of chatbots then gradually decreases, with furniture purchases being the category where consumers are least likely to think chatbots might be helpful (8%). Groceries register over one in ten respondents (12%) perceiving that chatbots might be helpful in such a purchase.

Looking at consumers’ opinion on customer service chatbots when purchasing groceries online we see a wide range of differences across 18 markets. 

Data indicates that the perception of usefulness of chatbots in the purchase of groceries is highest in India (30%). This high rate of perception in seen in all markets in the APAC region in comparison to other regions surveyed – China (22%), Hong Kong (15%), Singapore (15%), Indonesia (15%) and Australia (14%).

Nearly a quarter of consumers in the UAE (24%) think a bot could be useful in the purchase transaction of groceries.

Consumers in the North American region are not as likely to say they will find chatbots useful for groceries. While the proportion of consumers in Canada (10%) and US (9%) who say they will find such chatbots useful lies below the global average (12%), urban Mexicans at 15% are far more likely to find it useful.

All European markets register below the global average with some of the lowest figures in all 18 markets. Only around one in 20 Britons (6%) say they could find chatbots on grocery sites useful. Other countries in this region to register such low shares include Denmark, Sweden and France (all 7% each). 

This low share of consumers who say they could find chatbots useful when purchasing groceries online is perhaps connected to the fact that globally consumers still prefer to buy groceries in-person rather than online.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 510 and 2044 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in December 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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