Every retailer’s end goal is to make their customers happy, and build a good business. This is possible only if a retailer steps inside the shoes of their customers and try to figure out what kind of experience would make their online shopping better!
The Inside Story Of Shoppers
Let’s step inside the shoes of a shopper named Lisa and try to find out what would make her online shopping better. Lisa desires to buy the same outfit as what a celebrity wore to an event and is finding it difficult to find the same dress online. She tries to text search and describes the item where she ends up scrolling through hundreds of items that are nowhere close to the outfit she is searching for. She loses so much time and gets frustrated. Now, what a retailer must understand is the shopper is going through so much trouble text searching an item, which can be alternatively image searched. Yes, it’s that simple!
Shoppers can now just simply capture/upload/drag&drop an image into the search bar and get exact results! This feature is becoming popular since last year and retailers are betting big on visual search. The visual search feature was initially used by google where users were able to drag and drop /upload an image file into the search bar to find the source of the image or find similar results. And later other brands, including Pinterest and Shutterstock have also embraced the concept.
Coming back to Retail, this feature is now being used by huge e-commerce companies like Wayfire, Amazon, Myntra, Ebay, etc. What Wayfire and Amazon are doing is injecting image search directly into the customer journey, and using it to facilitate very fast, very efficient product discovery and that is exactly what was required in Lisa’s case. An visual search option helps save so much time in finding and buying an outfit worn by a stranger or a celebrity. This sort of simplifies a lot of effort in finding a product.
EBay first announced its image search plans back in July 2017, and has risen amid a bullish outlook for image search, as an estimated 50% of searches are expected to come from images or videos by 2020, and more than 75% of consumers already admit to being inspired to make a purchase based on images they viewed, according to GeoMarketing. There is a clear trend for the camera & images being the key input for search engines. Whilst UX design has come a long way, mobile search via the keyboard remains a clunky experience that regularly falls foul of autocorrect, and voice search isn’t discreet enough for most users outside the comfort of their own home.
How It Works
Search engines are facilitated using a platform called Episerver, it offers web content management. It delivers both enhanced relevance and powerful search functionality to websites. Being the state-of-the art search technology, Aspire systems brings in image search using this platform and helps retailers provide the best customer experience leading to higher conversion rates.
Visual search works by comparing the pixels in imagery to discover and return results that are similar. So, instead of typing in a keyword such as ‘black mini dress’ – which will generate thousands of general results – users can upload an image to help narrow it down to something much more specific.
Retailers seriously need to consider having the “camera strategy” as part of the customer journey and especially those retailers who sell products that depend on something more than just text searching a product. Shoppers these days expect more than what is already offered and providing them with the same old flawed customer experience will make them move on to other options that are more agile. Image search is a feature that needs to be adopted by all retailers since it is a great way to find the exact match! This will simplify the process of searching products on a whole new level and especially when it is something that can be captured or screenshotted.
The fruits of Visual Search
Some of the benefits for E-commerce brands are social discovery, capturing the spear fisher, cross selling and inspiration. With Visual Search there will be a breakthrough for social sales where social sites can generate a lot of sales. Visual search can reduce basket abandonment, eliminating the tedious processes that usually frustrate and annoy users. And another great benefit of Visual search is that it can be a cross-selling tool helping retailers prompt users other similar products that will result in sales.
Visual search/image search is the best way to visualize and buy products for shoppers and is an apt feature to gain sales for retailers.
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