Consumer Interest in AI Shopping Creates Online Grocery Opportunity

Grocery, AI, shoppers

With many consumers open to using artificial intelligence (AI) as they shop, grocers and grocery technology providers alike are seizing on the opportunity to boost efficiency and drive engagement.

By the Numbers

The September installment of PYMNTS Intelligence’s “Consumer Inflation Sentiment” report, the “Consumer Interest in Artificial Intelligence” edition, draws from an August survey of more than 2,300 U.S. consumers about their perceptions regarding AI in their daily lives and work.

The results reveal that the majority of consumers are at least a little bit interested in using AI for shopping. Specifically, 44% reported that they are at least somewhat interested, and 21% said they are slightly interested.

AI, consumer usage, daily lives

The Data in Context

Indeed, grocery retailers and technology providers are finding ways to take advantage of this opportunity.

Walmart, for its part, the world’s largest grocer, shared in June that it is looking to generative artificial intelligence (AI) to make its digital tools smarter and more effective. 

“We’ve long talked about the need for self-service,” Walmart Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Donna Morris told investors in a Q&A session. “Most individuals just want to find things on their own. They don’t want to call someone. They want to find it. And so, in a world of Gen AI, it’s opening up the opportunity for individuals to self-serve.” 

In May, meanwhile, leading grocery aggregator Instacart announced the combination of its own AI and data with OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology to roll out Ask Instacart, a search feature designed to provide suggestions and answers to questions. 

“[W]ith the rapid innovation in generative AI, we believe we can create new personalized, inspirational, value-driven shopping experiences that enrich peoples’ relationship with food and how they engage with the retailers and brands they love,” Instacart Chief Architect JJ Zhuang wrote in the blog post announcing the rollout.