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Voice and Visual Search: A Beginner’s Guide

Trends and Future of Retail
Visual Search and AI
Georgia SmithGeorgia Smith | February 5, 2021

Today, we have seen how eCommerce use voice and visual search. And the benefits are clearly seen in simplifying product discovery.

But, what are these search technologies? Also, how does it improve customer experience?

Read on to learn more.

Voice Search

Voice search uses audio technology. With the help of AI, it can identify the items you search. But, how does it work?

You can simply speak into a phone. Or using IoT devices, such as:

  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Siri
  • Microsoft Cortana
  • Amazon Alexa

Then, it will give you results based on what you said. In eCommerce sites, it will show you products based on it.

So, it saves you time from typing words! You also don’t need to scroll just to find the product you’re looking for.

Optimizing Voice Search for eCommerce

Still, there are ways to optimize voice search. So, how can eCommerce sites use it to its fullest?

Here are three tips to do so.

  1. Keep it conversational. In searching using voice, it’s important to write the way you talk. 
  2. Focus on local search. Most of the time, people love to look for something available in the local area. So, try to look for content based on a place.
  3. Aim for speed. Retailers should also make sure that the search itself is fast. So, compare how text and voice search works. Then. speed up the voice search.

Now, we know what voice search means. On the other hand, what is visual search?

Visual Search

Most people nowadays have smartphones. And of course, it has a camera on it.

Besides, everywhere we go, we like to take photos of something. We even use it in our daily jobs.

Are you one of those who take photos of receipts, too? We have experienced the convenience of doing so. Well, that’s simpler and easier than writing, isn’t it?

So, that’s where visual search comes in. From its word visual, it will search based on what it sees on the photo. But, how does it work?

You can simply take a photo of it using your camera. Or the visual camera of an eCommerce site. 

Then, it will get data on the picture. Finally, it will show you results based on the photo. 

For example, you saw someone wearing a nice dress. And you want to know where you can buy the same thing.

You can just snap a photo of it. Then, a visual search engine will show you online stores where you can buy it. 

It can even compare the prices. So, you know where you can buy it cheaper.

The Next Frontier of eCommerce

Well, how can eCommerce sites and customers benefit from voice and visual search?

Let’s consider three advantages.

  1. More appealing shopping experience. Shopping using these new technologies makes the process seamless. It also gives shoppers the feeling of being in-person.
  2. Simpler shopping. Now, all it takes is to speak or take a photo. And you can instantly get results!
  3. Be unique. Retailers now realize the power of visuals. And those who apply visual search have seen how it makes them unique from other retailers.


Georgia Smith

Georgia Smith

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