‘Adopt or Fail’ – New Report Emphasizes the Importance for Brands to Integrate AI

The Wunderman Thompson report covers survey results from the United States, the United Kingdom, and China.

According to new research from Wunderman Thompson, between regular post-shopping festival delivery woes and the pandemic-induced global manpower shortage, is it time for businesses to adopt AI to resolve supply chain business challenges.

Consumers are on board for it says a survey that found at least 44% of consumers “are excited about the prospect of AI,” and 51% of consumers “believe that AI can improve the quality of their lives,” according to Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s report “Adopt or Fail: Why businesses need AI”.

The report investigates the benefits of AI solutions from both the perspective of businesses and consumers, from businesses’ understanding, the confidence of, and adoption of AI solutions, the benefits of AI and the business challenges it can resolve, and consumers’ belief and concerns regarding AI. The report covers survey results from the United States, the United Kingdom, and China.

 
 

“With this report, we wanted to look at the two sides of AI implementation: business and consumers,” said Hugh Fletcher, Wunderman Thompson Global Marketing Director, and Thought Leadership Lead.

“We wanted to gauge the level of understanding, how it was being implemented, and what the benefits were. The idea was to present a view of AI that should help to define strategies to understand it, implement it and to deliver better experiences to consumers as a consequence.”


Consumers find companies that use AI ‘exciting’

According to the research, while 51% of consumers globally believe that AI has the potential to improve their quality of life, the number differs vastly across the three countries surveyed, with Chinese consumers have the most belief (70%), with US consumers behind at 41% and UK consumers lowest at just 29%.

 
 

Understanding of what AI means seems to be different across the three countries surveyed. In the UK, 26% of consumers did not know what AI was, while only 5% in China said the same. 52% of Chinese consumers felt AI was about apps or software, compared to the highest percentage in the US (33%) who thought it was about physical machines or robots.

“With China leading many indicators for AI adoption globally, the opportunities for organizations across APAC are vast.”

When asked what excited them most about AI, Chinese consumers were most excited across the spectrum, from quick and effective consumers services (66%, compared to US: 45% and UK: 30%), good in-store experiences (CN: 58%, US: 36%, UK: 27%), personalized communications and product recommendations (CN: 58%, US: 31%, UK: 38%), to on-time and accurate home delivery (CN: 52%, US: 40%, UK: 28%).

50% of consumers are concerned about data safety with AI

Wunderman Thompson’s findings show that the overall biggest concern is that the data won’t be protected and will be sold to advertisers or 3rd parties (50%), followed by companies not being transparent about how data is used (41%), companies using AI to replace jobs (39%), data being used to discriminate against the user (33%) and data being used to keep the user on their screen(s) (24%).

When asked if they actively avoid companies for the reasons stated above, 41% said yes, with Chinese consumers highest at 52%, compared to 34% in the US and 36% in the UK. Interestingly, when the responses were broken down by age group, it was the 16 to 24 years old who came in at 47% as the highest percentage who would avoid companies due to data concerns, compared to only 29% for those aged above 55.

Most business leaders have confidence and belief in AI solutions

On the business front, 87% of business leaders who have implemented AI believe their current solutions have contributed positively to business outcomes, says Wunderman Thompson, adding that, 77% of businesses have already adopted some form of AI solutions, from data analytics and dashboards to automated decision-making.

This percentage was relatively consistent across the three countries, with 79% in China, 77% in the US and 74% in the UK.

Cost and efficiency are part of the improvement thanks to AI

So, what exactly are businesses using AI for? 50% say they’re using AI for marketing and sales purposes, followed by 49% on customer experience (voice assistants etc.), 44% on logistics and warehousing, 41% on customer service, 35% on employee experience, and 31% on business planning (demand forecasting etc.)

The overall 5 topmost visible improvements to businesses after implementing AI are quicker decision-making capabilities (37%), cost reduction (32%), improved utilization of customer data (32%), increased revenue (31%) and quicker time to market (31%).

44% Say AI is not right for their business

Of the businesses that have not implemented AI, 44% said they did not think AI was useful to their business, and 71% said they would be more likely to consider using AI if they knew more about its use cases. 45% of business leaders say they have not implemented AI due to a lack of skills in their business.

“With China leading many indicators for AI adoption globally, the opportunities for organizations across APAC are vast,” said Kaythaya Maw, Chief Technology Officer of Wunderman Thompson APAC.

The overall 5 topmost visible improvements to businesses after implementing AI are quicker decision-making capabilities (37%), cost reduction (32%), improved utilization of customer data (32%), increased revenue (31%) and quicker time to market (31%).

“While adoption is high and businesses are seeing real benefits, business leaders feel there is room for improvement, and that there is a knowledge gap about AI and its unrealized potential.  For organizations yet to adopt AI solutions, the challenge is typically knowing where to start so as not to fall behind competitors.”

The research was commissioned by Wunderman Thompson Commerce and conducted by Censuswide with 1,557 consumers and 610 business leaders interviewed. The business leaders’ roles were digital and eCommerce focused and included Heads of eCommerce/digital, heads of IT/CIO’s, Heads of Marketing across a variety of industries in the UK, USA, and China. Research was conducted between 24.01.2022 – 31.01.2022.


To read the report “Adopt or Fail: Why businesses need AI”, download here.

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