A third of UK consumers prefer chatbots to human shopping assistants

Meerkats and Andrex puppies are becoming more useful than people
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UK shoppers are becomming less and less interested in talking to human shop assistants. In a new report, it has been revealed that a third of British shoppers prefer to use chatbots rather than human assistants. Comparethemarket’s infamous Meerkat tops the list as the country’s preferred chatbot, while Andrex’s puppies come in second, according to a report by UK-start up ubisend.

The report also revealed that one in five UK consumers spend an average of £314.74 while engaging with automated computer programmes. The main reason for using is for answers to service queries, according to 69% of those surveyed. Meanwhile, some 22% of consumers use a chatbot for recommendations on goods and services from brands they may like.

Dean Withey, CEO at ubisend said, “The conditions are ripe for chatbots now. The things consumers demand most when communicating with a company are at the heart of what a chatbot delivers. A perfect storm has been created where technology can now match or exceed consumers’ expectations of how brands should be interacting with them.”

He added: “In this age where convenience always wins out, brands need to solve problems quickly and efficiently to differentiate themselves from a customer service standpoint. Chatbots have the ability to answer questions 24/7, they will never lose their temper with a customer, and they provide the quick and efficient communication that people now demand.”

In total, 43% of UK consumers said that they saw companies that use chatbots as ‘innovative’ with 22% seeing them as ‘more efficient’ than human assistants.

At the other end of the spectrum, 40% of those surveyed said they either would not engage with chatbots or did not know how to use them. Withey concludes that this means more education needs to be deliver to consumers about the power of automated assistants.

 “Consumer trust in chatbots will come from brands’ ability to deliver a good chatbot experience. Right now, people don’t expect to have in-depth, human-like conversations with automated technology such as Alexa – they just want to be able to get the information they need, quickly,” he said.

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