Visual Search And Why It is Important For Retailers

By Paul Wynter October, 1, 2019

Humans will always be visually oriented. We have the ability to grasp images in an instant. However, when we compare that to our reading ability, we are slow, and our comprehension of text is even slower. Again, a good fraction of the planet's population is made up of people who think visually. Therefore, it is not considered strange that search has begun to tilt towards the visual side. In fact, it is a possible fact that you might soon begin searching with the use of your smartphone camera. Welcome to the world of visual search.

Visual Search – What Exactly Is It?

When we talk about visual search, we refer to the form of searching which utilizes images in real life such as photos to begin the search activity. For example, it has to do it making use of the Google lens camera to take a picture of fabric or clothing. Doing a style match with the use of Pinterest is, also, classified as visual search. Visual search transcends just doing a style match when you come across a great looking outfit or trying to determine the kind of TV set that you saw and seem to like. In fact, visual search is continuing to expand. We could say we are only at the tip of the iceberg. Today, photo applications have the ability to read a text which is contained in images and get them translated. Entities can be recognized by computer vision whether it is celebrities, landmarks, as well as, handwriting and logos. In the world of fashion and style, this research is growing in popularity among the big brands which include Macy’s, Wayfair, etc.

Visual Search Is The Future

Visual Search has continued to emerge within the past year. There was a time when voice search was the trend but, today, visual search has taken searching to a whole new level. In many cases, visual search seems to be more ideal than voice search. This is not to say that voice search is not as fantastic as visual search because both options happen to complement each other. However, the thing with visual search is that it continues to improve across various platform. In terms of technology development and usage, there is rapid progress. Now, branded apps are beginning to incorporate visual search, and the same is applicable to websites too. The visual search functionality is being implemented on websites today to improve the experiences of website visitors and help them find what they need easily. Platforms like Bing, Google, as well as, Pinterest are beginning to use visual search to radically change the horizon of search marketing. The ability to equip your customers with visual search engines is one of the ways that you help them find the products which you have to offer faster. For example, there is a product which is called Search Cart that gives website owners the ability to seamlessly implement visual search on their websites with just a simple click. With Search Cart, website owners now have a very easy and perfect opportunity to ensure that they key into this technology by making it available on their sites. This eventually results in increased sales and conversion time because consumers can easily find what they want and deciding to buy is no longer a problem once they have the exact product that they need staring them right in the face. The possibilities that SearchR has to offer are endless.

The Rise of Visual Search – What the Numbers Say

According to statistics, visual search should no longer be regarded as an experiment. In 2014, it was worth about $5.81 billion, but the market has seen rapid growth and has shot up to $80 billion which is a pointer to the fact that this technology is rapidly gaining popularity. Jumpshot & Moz release day reporting 2017 which services further confirmation on the growth of visual search. Of all the searches which were conducted around ten major properties, about 27% of them were for photos. In a report released by Pinterest, it was revealed that over 600 million aggregate searches were carried out every month by their users with the use of its Lens technology and the level of image searches being carried out on Google has increased significantly. These numbers simply show that visual search will continue to expand. L2 released a research report where they discovered that about 8% of the retail brands have the visual search technology available on their online inventory and it is evident that this percentage of continuing to increase as the years go by.

The Evolution of Retail for better customer experiences

As we approach the future, search will tilt towards images more than keywords. When we check out the advancements that are being made in visual search tech by the leading brands such as Target and ASOS, customers are now finding it easier to capture an image, run a search, and purchase the product once found. This technology is rapidly changing the way in which retail activities are carried out with its time-saving nature, as well as, the level of convenience that it brings to shoppers and retailers. It is estimated that by 2020, digital engagement in its various forms will be unified by search. Proactive marketers have no choice but to take advantage of this initiative and position their brands as leaders in the use of visual search since the trends which will emerge in the next few years and into the future will be underpinned by search.

How it creates a better customer experience

As retail continues to take different dimensions through different channels, innovative ways must be engineered which increase the ease with which customers locate whatever it is that they desire. It is for this very reason that visual search has grown in popularity in the retail sector. An outstanding feature of visual search is its ability to simplify and quicken consumer's shopping experiences. Retailers, as well as, store owners have a lot to gain from this. While keyword search makes customers to go through the stress of coming up with appropriate keyword phrases while having to scan through lots and lots of search engine results to find what they really want, visual search simply lets the customer convert a mental image into a product that is real and ready for purchase. When consumers are able to find it easier to locate the products that they want, achieving sales becomes easier too. With a visual search product like SearchR implemented on your website, your prospective customers can find it easy to locate the products that they need from your website which gives them an enhanced feeling of being connected to your online store.

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