Global retail workers' perception of AI's influence on their jobs
August 2nd, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Global retail workers' perception of AI's influence on their jobs

The swift development of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked numerous discussions about its potential risks to humanity. The integration of AI in the workforce has also raised concerns across industries and is a topic of increasing debate. According to a recent YouGov survey, nearly three-fifths of adults globally (57%) are worried about AI replacing jobs. A recent report by investment bank Goldman Sachs reveals that close to 300 million full-time jobs globally could be exposed to and upended by automation. Amidst these worries, a new YouGov Surveys: Serviced poll across 18 key international markets asks adults working in the retail industry their perceptions about the influence of AI on their jobs.

Before exploring the results of the survey however, it can be helpful to get an insight into the extent to which AI software is already being used or being considered by organisations in the retail sector. A third of our polled adults who work in the retail industry say that neither are their organizations currently using AI software nor are there any plans or discussions to do so (33%). Just under a fifth (17%) of respondents say there are discussions about using such software and 18% say their companies are planning and preparing for the use of AI software in the near future. Fewer than one in ten say that they or their teams are currently using artificial intelligence.

Retail workers’ perceptions about the use of AI at their workplace

Data from the new YouGov survey reveals that, among adults working in the retail industry around the world, more than one in five think that AI might be able to perform some tasks in their stead (22%).

Similarly, an eighth of our respondents believe that AI might be able to perform most of their current tasks for them (13%).

However, nearly a fifth of people working in this industry have confidence that even if deployed, AI solutions won't be able to perform any of their or their colleagues' tasks at the same level (17%).

Do gender and age impact retail industry workers’ opinions about AI in their workplace?

Interestingly, men working in the retail sector globally are far more likely than women to believe that AI might be able to either do some of their work (27% vs 17%) or most of their work (15% vs 11%).

On the other hand, nearly two in ten women are more likely to believe that AI won’t be able to do their tasks as efficiently (19% vs. 15% of global men).

25-to-34-year-old retail workers are the most likely to believe that AI solutions can perform some of their tasks in their stead (30%) followed by 18-to-24-year-olds (27%) and 45-to-54-year-olds (24%).

Our 35-to-44-year-old respondents are significantly likelier than all other age groups to believe that AI can perform most of their current tasks in their stead (19%).

On the other hand, global retail workers aged 55 and above appear to be the most confident that AI cannot perform any of theirs or their colleagues’ tasks with the required characteristics (27%).

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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 512 and 2005 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in April 2023. 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.