Retailers not yet paying attention to artificial intelligence (AI) should reconsider the technology’s power, according to the online retailer.

Sasha Berson, group director for customer and strategy, spoke out in favour of AI-powered chatbots during a Retail Week Live panel.

“AI will be powerful enough to know everything about you – to surprise and delight you in way that inspires you when you’re bored,” he said.

The online retailer is rolling out chatbots – computer programmes that can engage in intelligent conversation – to answer customer queries.

“Customers are on different missions – sometimes they’re time pressed and want answers quickly, so bots will be solution,” Berson said.

“Other times, a way to entertain them is to inspire them. Our belief is AI can help you on both fronts – we’re starting with the first scenario, the second takes a bit longer.

“Our vision is that you’ll be able to interact in ways you choose and the language you want to use. AI can surprise and delight consumers,” he added.

Last year, Shop Direct boss Alex Baldock told Retail Week the online retailer would “double down” on its investment in AI. 

The retailer is using IBM’s AI system Watson to power the chatbots and deliver further personalisation for its shoppers.