More than 35 percent of Americans would rather shop with Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri than go to a mall with their friends or family over the holiday season, according to the latest survey from IFTTT. While digital assistants appear to be catching on among consumers in the United States, most of them still wouldn't trust an actual robot to shop for them, with only 17 percent of IFTTT's representative sample saying they'd have little or no issues with doing so. On the other hand, consumers appear to be more open to having robots deliver their online orders and more than half would prefer them over drones.
Many other consumer habits change during every holiday season, with approximately 58 percent of the U.S. population placing a larger focus on online retail channels over this period. Email remains people's preferred method of being notified about deals during holidays, with close to 38 percent of them having it as their top choice for such communication from retailers, according to the study. Close to two thirds of Americans downloaded at least one new retail-oriented mobile app over the course of this year, with every fifth consumer installing at least three. Less than ten percent of interviewees used a retail chatbot at least once in their life and were aware of it, with nearly every fourth consumer still not being familiar with what this technology even is. Mass retailers like Amazon and Walmart continue being the most popular choice among Americans over the holidays, with more than 56 percent of them committing most of their resources to this type of businesses, IFTTT found.
The vast majority of interviewees said that being able to evaluate products more efficiently remains the largest perk of shopping offline, with more than 72 percent having this stance. Using virtual reality as an alternative to in-person inspections also isn't a foreign concept among consumers, with nearly 60 percent of them saying they'd like to decorate a VR room with furniture before purchasing it and nearly half saying they'd be willing to navigate VR stores and malls during their online shopping sessions. Order delays pushed to the post-holiday season remain the biggest frustration of online shoppers, with over 27 percent of them labeling them as the largest annoyance they associate with internet-enabled retail channels. In overall, it appears that artificial intelligence technologies are steadily gaining traction among U.S. consumers and that trend is likely to continue going forward.