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Visual Shopping Search for Online Retail and Shoppers

Trends and Future of Retail
Visual Search and AI
Georgia SmithGeorgia Smith | January 27, 2021

You may have come across the term visual shopping search before. What is it? Also, how can it simplify customer experience?

Let’s find out!

Visual Shopping Search

Visual shopping search is not just another buzzword. It sure can help, especially in the retail industry.

But, before we talk about its benefits, let’s define visual search first.

Visual search is a way of searching for something. But instead of using words, we use images to search. So, how does it work?

To help us understand its process, let’s consider an example.

Suppose you saw your friend carrying a handbag. Then, you suddenly want to buy something just like it.

Well, you can just ask your friend where she bought it. But, you were told that it was a gift, and she doesn’t know the store, too.

So, how can you look for it? With visual search, there’s no need to type words into search engines. You can simply take a picture of it. And, voila! You’ll get results.

But, what it’s a bag of a celebrity you follow online? So you can’t take a picture of it in person?

Don’t fret! Visual search also works on screenshots. So, you can still search for that product you want to buy.

Can you imagine how convenient it is? It also makes shopping easy. So, you can save time!

Now, how can it help in retail and businesses?

The Need for Visual Shopping Search for Online Retail

So, how do retail benefit from visual search? To understand it better, we will have another example.

Let’s say you are on a train. You saw someone across from you wearing a nice red dress. And you want to buy the same thing.

So, you went to the online store you’re frequent. But, you can’t describe the dress on the search box. When you tried to type red dress, it shows dresses that are different from what you want!

What’s worse is if you search for it on a search engine. It could show you millions of results! And not all of them are related to what you’re looking for.

So, there’s a need for a visual search tool in retail. 

Benefits of Visual Shopping Search for Online Retail

Let us talk about three benefits of visual search for online retail in the following areas:

  1. Organic reach
  2. Gain social media traffic
  3. Shopping journey

Organic Reach

Organic reach is a way for brands to truly connect with their customers. And the visual search can help them achieve this.

Visual search enables customers to look for brands without them spending money. In effect, you let customers look for you. So, it means free marketing for retailers.

Gain Social Media Traffic

Visual search can also help brands gain more visitors from social media. A study also shows that 75% of shoppers always search for the photo of someone wearing it first, before actually buying it.

It just shows how important images are. So, retailers should emphasize this.

Shopping Journey

Visual search can also enhance showrooming. So, what they can see in a physical store can also be seen online. Thus, it makes shopping real.

And it is something that people want, especially now that we can barely go out. 


Georgia Smith

Georgia Smith

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