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What is Visual Search for e-Commerce?: Things You Need to Know

Georgia SmithGeorgia Smith | February 5, 2021

Do you know what is visual search? Have you tried using one?

In the online shopping scene, images are a very important player. After all, will you consider buying something you have not seen before?

Of course not, right? And one study proves the value of images. It says that a third of US online shoppers look for visual content before buying.

So, the sector that gets the most benefit out of visual search is eCommerce. But what is visual search?

Let us read the definition below.

What is Visual Search for eCommerce?

Today, the number one way of looking for an item is by using keywords. For example, you may have a ruined jacket that your friend gave you. But it was your favorite.

So, you may want to find the same one online. To find it, you may go into a search engine or eCommerce store. Then, you typed in “brown leather jacket with fur hoodies.”

You then get hundreds of similar results. But the problem is, you can’t find the same exact one! So, you need to scroll and scroll and scroll.

Seems time-consuming, right? That is where visual search comes in handy. Instead of typing in a keyword, you can just go ahead and take a picture of your jacket.

Then, upload it on a tool or app. Or some apps even let you take pictures directly in it to do a visual search. Then, it can give you more accurate results, and fast!

So, no need for you to scroll further to find that jacket. Thus, making it much better than text-based search. But how is this possible?

Visual Search and AI

Visual search makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Then, combined with computer vision.

Computer vision is how the machine sees and interprets what it is seeing. Then, when machine learning became more advanced, visual search became possible.

It gives the information that computer vision needs to identify what is in an image. That is why visual search is getter better these days.

Also, the more it gets fed with images and videos, the smarter it gets.

So, it can recognize objects better and faster. Thus, making it possible for us to use and search for imagery in the real-world.

What are the results it can yield? With it, you can get:

  • information about the item
  • similar images
  • links to eCommerce stores

As you can see, eCommerce is really getting the most out of this. If you have an eCommerce store, there are some tips you can follow to benefit from this.

Tips for eCommerce Stores

To help you get on top of search results, you need to up your image game. Here are some tips:

  • Add alternative text. “Alt text,” “alt tag.” This is what appears on the loading screen.
  • Use descriptive filenames. Do not use “IMG_020420210236.” Describe what is on the image.
  • Use structured dataThis is what gives search engines they need.

With this, your eCommerce store can enjoy the perks of visual search.


Georgia Smith

Georgia Smith

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