Innovation, TV, generative AI: 5 interesting stats to start your week

We arm you with all the numbers you need to tackle the week ahead.

‘Sluggish’ regulations slow consumer uptake of generative AI

US consumers are adopting generative AI technology faster than those in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, according to a new study from Forrester.

It reports that 34% of US consumers have tried out generative AI, compared to 27% in the UK, and 25% in France. It points to ‘sluggish’ regulations in Europe for the slower uptake of the new technology.

Large Language Models (LLMs) dominate generative AI usage, according to the research, with use focused on search-related tasks. ChatGPT is the most commonly tried AI platform, with 28% of users in the US, UK and France having tried it. My AI Chatbot is the second most popular platform, tried by 17%.

AI early adopters skew towards younger, male and highly educated consumers. Almost half of millennial and Gen Z consumers in the UK have tried AI, compared to 12% of baby boomers. Just over a third (37%) of men and 40% of graduates have tried AI, compared to 22% of women and non-graduates. As a result, Forrester predicts that AI will most influence knowledge-worker roles.

Trying AI does not necessarily lead to trust. In the UK, US and France only 29% of consumers say they would trust information from Gen AI.

Source: Forrester

Falling inflation reduces pressure on household finances

Shop price inflation eased to 1.3% in March, down from 2.5% in February. According to the BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index, the March inflation rate is below the three-month average of 2.2% and shop price growth is at its lowest rate since December 2021.

Non-food inflation fell to 0.2%, from 1.3% in February, again below the three-month average.

Food inflation also eased, from 5% in February to 2.7% in March. This marks the tenth consecutive monthly slowing of food inflation, which is now at its lowest rate since April 2022.

When broken down further the figures show that fresh food inflation fell from 3.4% in February to 2.6% in March, the lowest rate since November 2021.

Meanwhile, ambient food inflation eased from 7.2% in February to 5.2%, compared to a three-month average of 6.6%.

“Shop price inflation eased to the lowest level since December 2021 last month as retailers continued to compete fiercely to bring prices down for their customers,” says BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“While Easter treats were more expensive than in previous years due to high global cocoa and sugar prices, retailers provided cracking deals on popular chocolates, which led to price falls compared to the previous month. Dairy prices also fell on the month as farmgate prices eased, and retailers worked hard to lower prices for many essentials. In non-food, prices of electricals, clothing and footwear fell as retailers increased promotions to entice consumer spending.”

Source: BRC/NielsenIQ

Traditional TV is still more popular than streaming

The reach of traditional TV is shrinking, but it remains an important channel with high levels of trust, according to figures from the GWI Global Media Landscape Report.

Some 56% of the total time spent viewing TV is dedicated to broadcast TV, versus 44% for streaming. Back in 2013 the split was 74% to 26% in favour of broadcast TV.

Late 2023 saw the first time that one in 10 internet users said they don’t watch any live TV in a typical day. However, sporting events such as the Super Bowl, or hit TV shows such as The Traitors, still drive up viewing figures for live broadcasts, notes the report.

Meanwhile, more consumers (31%) learn about new products from TV ads than ads on streaming services (17%), according to the report.

The report also cautions advertisers not to take ‘TV time’ too literally. It notes that in Southeast Asia, for example, 91% of consumers will be using their smartphone as a second screen while watching TV. More than half (55%) use social media platforms while watching TV, and consumers are more likely to watch TV via their phones or tablets (73%) than on an actual TV set (72%).

Source: GWI

Almost half of large businesses leaning on innovation to grow

Almost half of large UK businesses are looking to innovation to drive growth in the next 12 months, according to data from YouGov, with 45% planning to launch new products and services this year.

According to the survey of 1,000 decision-makers, an expansion of sales and marketing efforts also ranks highly as a way to drive growth. Over two in five (41%) of decision-makers in large businesses say they’ll be investing in this for growth this year.

Notably, it is the most popular strategy to achieve growth among small businesses, with 43% saying they’ll be enhancing their sales and marketing efforts in the next 12 months. It is the second most popular among decision-makers at medium-sized businesses also.

Digital transformation initiatives were the most common strategy being pursued by large businesses for growth (56%), closely followed by efficiency and cost reduction measures (55%).

Source: YouGov

Influencers outpace brand websites for consumers’ research

Two-thirds (66%) of Gen Z shoppers will watch reviews on social media before making a purchase, according to data from creator management platform Grin. Meanwhile, just 16% of all consumers turn to a brand’s website for reviews.

Nearly three-quarters (73.5%) report buying a product because an influencer recommended it, while 20% planned to purchase gifts directly through social media.

A third of consumers say that the strongest influence on their purchasing decisions is reviews on social media channels, while 61% have purchased a digital product, such as an app or a subscription, after a social media recommendation.

Source: Grin