49% of retail participants have a positive sentiment toward AI, 12% of participants have a negative sentiment and the rest are neutral
92% of U.S. retail respondents that were surveyed plan to increase AI investment in the next year, compared to 100% in China and India
The most common expected impact of Gen AI in retail is Business Ops Improvement, followed by Automation and Efficiency Gains and Customer Experience Improvement
Lucidworks, the leading search solutions provider, shared results from the largest, global generative AI benchmark study that gathered input from over 6,000 employees involved in AI technology decision-making. The study includes respondents from nearly 300 retail companies worldwide. Read the full study here for the complete analysis of results and the 80 identified generative AI Best Practices.
The study shows that 93% of companies across industries plan to increase their spend on AI within the next twelve months. The retail sector mirrors this trend closely, as 92% of retail businesses plan to ramp up their investments in generative AI. However, the survey found differences depending on location. 100% of Chinese and Indian respondents said they plan to increase AI investment, compared to only 92% of United States participants.
The outlook on generative AI is predominantly favorable among industry executives and managers. Nearly 50% of retail respondents have a positive view of AI, one of the highest percentages across the industries that were surveyed. Only 12% have a negative view. One of the biggest concerns around the new technology is job displacement and security. Security apprehensions cut across all surveyed industries, followed by concerns about the accuracy of AI-generated outputs, the need for transparency in understanding AI-based decision-making processes, and ensuring responsiveness in terms of both timeliness and tone.
“Now is the perfect moment for retailers to harness the potential of generative AI,” said Mike Sinoway, CEO, Lucidworks. “These emerging technologies carry profound implications for advancing automation, improving the customer experience, and revolutionizing data-driven decision-making. Our clients are already exploring innovative AI applications in knowledge management and the customer buying journey. Those agile enough to adapt their strategies are poised to secure a distinctive competitive advantage.”
The benchmark study also includes the following findings:
- 36% of retail participants that do not plan to increase spend have a negative sentiment around AI compared to only 9% negative sentiment among participants planning to increase spend.
- The most common expected impact of generative AI in retail is Business Ops Improvement (22%), followed by Automation and Efficiency Gains (17%) and Customer Experience Improvement (16%).
- Companies in the entertainment and technology industries are frontrunners in plans to increase generative AI spending, followed closely by construction / real estate, financial services, and transportation.
- Global business leaders across all industries surveyed are predominantly directing their investments in AI toward three key areas: Improved Customer Experience, Automation and Efficiency, and overall Business Operations.
Lucidworks’ global benchmark study also offers valuable insights for businesses planning to invest in generative AI. Through a comprehensive assessment of Launched, Planned, and Desired Best Practices, the study enables companies across all industries to construct a tailored generative AI roadmap. Lucidworks has plotted industries based on four distinct phases of progression along the investment and deployment journey—Trailblazer, Leader, Challenger, Rookie—to help companies gauge their level of maturity in generative AI adoption, identify potential challenges and opportunities, and strategize their efforts accordingly.