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Millennials Are Ready To Embrace AI

Personalized product recommendations and chatbot communication are driving higher engagement, as a majority of younger consumers say they're willing to trade data for personalized service.

From chatbots to the rise of intelligent assistants and the connected home, artificial intelligence (AI) is powering an increasing number of tools for both brands and consumers — and Millennials are ready for the change, according to new research from Rocket Fuel reported by eMarketer.

62 percent of Millennials value AI for recommending products and/or services, saying that they are willing to trade data for personalized suggestions as AI-based recommendation tools for shoppers proliferate. In fact, a majority of respondents from the Gen-X, Millennial, and Gen-Z demographics agree — adoption lags only in the 55+ segment.

AI Drives Engagement

At a time when one-to-one communication and personalization in marketing is the expectation — especially for younger Millennials, who came of age in the smartphone era — this conclusion stands to reason. It also suggests that brands looking to reach this cohort would be wise to invest in AI to improve recommendations and communication if they haven’t already.

And these statistics appear to be bolstered with examples of real-life engagement. Take, for instance, CoverGirl’s “KalaniBot,” a chatbot inspired by one of the brand’s key influencers, actress and model Kalani Hilliker. Far from seeming impersonal of “scaring off” fans, the KalaniBot actually saw 14x the engagement of the live Kalani when she was just doing some promotion on Instagram and Snapchat.

As Trevor Hardy, chief executive at The Future Laboratory, explained to retailers at this year’s Retail Week Live, “we certainly think the future of retail is about service, and about the human element of service, but [it doesn’t all] have to be provided by humans.”

So, have no fear of an Asimovian future — the age of AI is here, but its just going to help customers pick a lipstick color.