As part of the 10th edition of Paris Retail Week, whose theme this year honors all forms of Retail Intelligence including Artificial Intelligence, the event commissioned a study from OpinionWay on the relationship between the French and AI and its impact on their daily purchases. It reveals a nation at a crossroads,torn between optimism and caution in the face of the advent of AI in commerce.  

Key findings of the study:

  • 65% of French people identify at least one advantage brought by AI in their daily purchases.
  • Among them, 46% appreciate the increased speed, 37% the added convenience, and 29% the improved personalization.
  • A divided nation: 34% of respondents are optimistic about the improvement of their shopping experiences thanks to AI, while 32% express concerns.
  • 55% see France as a future leader in AI in commerce, with 54% considering this goal realistic.
  • Young people are particularly enthusiastic: 57% of those under 35 are optimistic about the impact of AI on their purchases 

The French divided but hopeful 

The survey shows that the French are divided on the future impact of AI on their shopping practices: 34% anticipate improvement, 32% fear degradation, and 33% expect no significant change. Notably, 19% of respondents fear a significant degradation of their shopping experiences, while only 7% envision a clear improvement. Young people, men, and higher socioeconomic categories are particularly optimistic (traditionally more technophile profiles). For example, 57% of those under 35 see AI as a means of improvement in their purchases, compared to 28% among those aged 35 and over. Beyond the overall shopping experience, the French acknowledge that AI will positively impact their daily purchases: 65% of them identify at least one advantage. Perceived benefits include speed (46%), convenience (37%), and better personalization (29%). Among other advantages, respondents highlighted improved delivery times, greater responsiveness of customer services, accelerated deliveries and payments, and an overall improved shopping experience thanks to innovative features such as voice and automatic orders. The French also anticipate better product availability resulting from automated inventory management. Finally, more personalization is expected through AI, especially in terms of offers and promotions (20%) and recommendations (17%)

Towards a leading France in AI in Commerce

When asked about the ambition to make France a global leader in AI in the retail sector, 55% of French people consider this goal both desirable and achievable, despite some caution regarding its immediate realization. Once again, young people (64% among those under 35 versus 53% among those aged 35 and over), men (62% among men versus 49% among women), and higher socioeconomic categories (60% versus 48% among lower socioeconomic categories) want to see France become a leader in AI in the retail sector. And once again, young people are the most confident on the subject: 64% of those under 35 consider this goal achievable compared to 51% of those aged 35 and over. 

Conclusion : A promising future despite differences

This study reveals a French society deeply contemplating the impact of AI in commerce, oscillating between optimism and caution. Indeed, while the French are generally divided on the impact of AI on their daily consumption habits in the future, certain segments of the population are particularly optimistic: the young, men, and the so-called higher socioeconomic categories, which are perhaps the most tech-savvy and informed about AI. The French attribute numerous advantages to AI in their daily purchases in the coming years, in terms of speed, as well as aspects related to convenience and personalization. These benefits identified by a majority of French people, coupled with the collective ambition to position France as a leader in AI in commerce, outline the contours of a promising future where technology enriches the shopping experience.