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Up to 90% of the information received and processed by the brain is visual. Visual search not only enables users to get product recommendations based on visually similar items but also identify and locate items via photos snapped with their smartphone cameras. According to Google, only one in three searches results in a click.
This means that the buyer’s journey ends up being a friction-filled path that often leads to no-purchase at all, rather than being a seamless and straightforward process. It doesn’t matter how descriptive and specific the search might be; sometimes, the text search is not quite enough to fulfil the customer’s needs.
The global visual search market is forecasted to grow +9% and surpass €14,727m by 2023. A the moment, only 8% of retailers have built-in image search into their eCommerce sites. It is estimated that by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.
When customers perform a visual search, they look for a product using an image instead of keywords. Another alternative is to use a “Camera Search” that allows shoppers to take a photo of something they want to buy and upload it to the site to look for similar items and suggestions.
The best example of this is Pinterest’s Visual Lens. Launched in 2007, it allowed users of the popular platform to take a picture of a product in the physical world and search for the relevant Pin. By February 2018, Pinterest users were making 600 million Visual Lens searches every month. So, why follow the Pinterest example? Because not only will increase the number of successful search results and transactions but also:
Recommend optimises your website to provide a unique experience. It also allows you to deliver a truly seamless journey to your buyers by reducing the friction between seeing and purchasing thanks to our Visual Search module.
The Visual Search is available to enhance our Product Recommendation and Product Merchandising modules. By adding the possibility of suggesting visually similar items to any search the accuracy will be higher. Besides, our merchants will be able to implement the “Camera Search” into their eCommerce websites and mobile apps. This feature will allow users to take pictures of a specific item with their smartphone and upload into the site to perform a search.
This feature lets your brand offer a more personalised shopping experience by providing a powerful targeted and accurate search. When website visitors engage with “view similar” product pages, the conversion rate can increase up to 100%. By tapping into the visual search, you are inviting your customers to buy the whole look. But also, to continue browsing your site or to place additional items into their cart. Most importantly, they can choose an alternative if the original product is out of stock.
One of the biggest challenges would be the total adoption of the visual search. Or, the combination of text and images to get the most accurate results. According to Google, there are about one billion visual searches each month versus hundreds of billions of textual searches. The success of solutions like Pinterest’s Visual Lenses could be thanks to the platform itself rather than a vast understanding of its advantages and disadvantages.
The potential business impact of visual search in eCommerce is still developing, but the future is more than promising. Implementing visual search into an eCommerce website not only will help emerging fashion and lifestyle brands identify their target audiences. For more prominent retailers, visual search can help customers quickly locate products from a massive catalogue and remove language barriers.