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Cutting through the noise in consumer experience

June 6, 2024

Consumers feel overwhelmed by purchase decisions. Find out why they're stressed and how you can cut through the noise.

Consumers are walking away

% who walked away from a category purchase in the last three months of 2023.

74% of consumers abandoned their shopping baskets in the last three months simply because they felt bombarded by content, overwhelmed by choice and frustrated by the amount of effort they need to put in to making decisions.

Why? Decision stress.

There is an endless stream of noise

The noise from an endless stream of choices, claims, recommendations, messages and ads creates decision stress and increases the time and effort required to make a purchase decision.


feel bombarded by advertising 


are overwhelmed by too many product options


get confused by the different terminology use to explain features or benefits

Causing decision stress across the purchase funnel

What a consumer buys influences where they feel decision stress across the purchase journey.

In store, products fail the shelf test

Consumers find it difficult to get the information they need in store. They struggle to understand and evaluate a brand’s attributes like promises on effectiveness, health and sustainability.

Online, there’s too much information

While consumers are rarely served the right information in store, digital channels have the opposite challenge. Online, many brands provide a tidal wave of information and opinions that most people find overwhelming.

The result? They lack confidence in both big and small buying decisions


either see no improvement or feel decision-making is getting harder compared with three years ago 


say that in the last three years it has become more important that they make the ‘right’ purchase decision

What’s most surprising is the relative confidence consumers have in purchasing different categories of products.

  • Buying snacks is twice as hard as buying the rest of the weekly grocery shop
  • Buying a moisturizer is nearly as overwhelming as buying a washing machine
  • Buying probiotics is as challenging as buying a couch

Generative AI presents an opportunity to cut through the noise.

The good news – consumers are open to using generative AI to support decision-making

Whether it's using generative AI advisors to provide recommendations or using generative AI agents to make purchase decisions autonomously on their behalf, consumers are ready to be empowered.

Three practical use cases for generative AI

Reduce the decision stress for consumers.

Curated experiences

Challenge: Bombarded by advertising, confused by terminology, and/or overwhelmed by options. May also face high workload involved in researching potential choice.

Opportunity: Use generative AI, AI and other technologies to anticipate an individual’s needs, deliver targeted content and make hyper-transparent recommendations accordingly.

Generative AI advisors

Challenge: Generic chat bots with limited ability to tailor advice to specific needs. ‘Personal touch’ from real-life advisors only where accessible.

Opportunity: Fast track the discovery process, showcase the options, and deliver expert, personalized advice be it through an AI persona or real-life employee interactions.

Generative AI agents

Challenge: Static subscription services add to the workload because they are cumbersome to adapt when changes inevitably need to be made.

Opportunity: Act as a consumer’s personal assistant; capable of taking on complex decisions and actioning them autonomously in order to reduce the  mental and physical effort required to make decisions.

Consumer goods executives already see generative AI as a key investment

They are most likely to view generative AI as a key lever in their reinvention strategy.

Early movers in generative AI have a strong advantage


Early movers are 3.7x more likely to use generative AI to identify new and unmet consumer needs.*


Early movers are 5.6x more likely to believe that generative AI can bring radical innovation to marketing.*

And they will reap the benefits


Consumers who feel the least decision stress are half as likely to walk away from purchases as those who feel the most.**


Consumers who feel the least decision stress are 25% more likely to have a positive opinion of a brand or company and are more likely to buy again than those who feel the most.**


Higher revenues after five years than companies that focused only on productivity when they apply generative AI to customer-related initiatives.*


Reduction in data processing time, resulting in getting new products and services to market 40% faster.*

Early movers are already reinventing consumer journeys



Tailor advice for consumers so they have the facts and insights to make decisions confidently.

Google’s ‘MoodFood’ can offer up recipes that are attuned to how a user feels. Rather than starting with ingredients like a traditional recipe generator might, the generative AI powered ‘food therapist’ can make suggestions based on the type of day a user is having, or the thoughts weighing on their mind. In doing so, it provides a more human approach to product discovery that taps into the needs and emotions that consumers have when deciding what to eat. It is currently available as an open-sourced template to support the development of new types of experiences.



Design personalized experiences that influence consumers to act.

Alcoholic beverage company Brown-Forman Corporation is using AI to shift consumer messages on product display pages across its brand portfolio. To win the digital shelf, the company aligns the messages it shows to each stage of the purchasing journey. As consumers get closer to the cart, these brand-led, creative messages become more functional, providing the information consumers need to complete their purchases with ease.



Create a partnership that’s human by design to build trust and earn loyalty.

In its aim to create personalized beauty experiences for every individual consumer, Shiseido has integrated online and offline consumer data history and is using it to deliver personalized social content – making it easier and faster for consumers to learn about trends, access personalized services and buy their favourite products.

Ultimately, companies that empower consumers with simpler experiences will drive loyalty and breakthrough growth.

*Source: Accenture, Generative AI for customer growth, 2024

**Comparison of the 25% of consumers with the lowest levels of decision stress vs. the 25% of consumers with the highest levels of decision stress as calculated by the Decision Stress Index