Chatbots may be able to help you buy a TV – but do consumers want their help with clothes?
March 23rd, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Chatbots may be able to help you buy a TV – but do consumers want their help with clothes?

Times and tech are evolving. Riding on the promise of increasing operating efficiencies across business categories, the AI market is expected to reach the USD 500 billion mark by 2024. Hearing the siren call of greater cost savings and increased efficiency of automating operations, brands like Frontier Airlines are starting to make the move from human interaction to customer service chatbots. Luxury fashion brand DIOR Beauty also recently launched an influencer chatbot in partnership with global influencer Jisoo. However, are consumers really satisfied with this new customer service experience? Do they really think chatbots are useful?

A recent YouGov Surveys poll – conducted across 18 global markets - paints a grim picture. Almost a third of consumers globally (29%) think that customer service chatbots would not be useful when purchasing any of the given categories of products or services online.

While the top spot among the purchase of products and services where consumers think using a customer service chatbot can be useful is occupied by mobile phones (16%) and electronics (16%), clothing and shoes (14%) follow closely. This number continues to drop as we move down the list.

An equal but significantly lesser proportion of consumers believe in the usefulness of such chatbots when shopping online for medicines and healthcare products (11%), out-of-home entertainment services (11%) and cosmetics & beauty products (11%).

Taking a closer look at consumers who selected clothing and shoes by region reveals some interesting differences.

More than a third of consumers in India (33% - the highest of all markets) and more than a quarter of consumers in Indonesia (26%) think that customer service chatbots can be helpful while purchasing clothing and shoes online.  Other APAC markets like Singapore (14%), Hong Kong (14%) and Australia (13%) are much less likely to agree.

Much like their counterparts in Indonesia, a quarter of consumers in the UAE (24%) believe in the usefulness of chatbots while shopping online for apparel.

While consumers who are likely to find chatbots useful when purchasing clothing outpaces the global average in Mexico (19%), this proportion falls to a tenth in Canada (10%) and less than a tenth in the US (8%).

Though more than one in ten consumers in Spain (15%), Italy (13%), Germany (13%) and Poland (12%) think customer service chatbots are useful when buying clothing online, such chatbots are yet to find many takers in other European markets (Sweden, 8%; France, 7%; Denmark, 7%; GB, 7%).

Explore our living data – for free 

Discover more retail content here

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

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 431 and 1,572 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