Visual Search and how it became a thing
Keyword searches are the lifeline of E-commerce businesses but new technology is effecting how we search and prompting the industry to think outside of the written word – purely for the sake of efficiency. When looking for a smartphone or Roomba, a keyword is all that is needed but if we’re looking for something unique or very specific – let’s say an article of clothing or a coffee table, then it’s far more efficient to search by picture. Visual search is making a huge impact in the retail industry by tapping in to the ever-accepting idea that sometimes words fail us, but a picture says it all.
The failure of the keyword was the origin for entrepreneurial tech company, Syte. Syte is one of the main providers of visual-search Technology. Lihi Pinto Fryman, the company’s founder was working in a completely no-related industry when she found herself scrolling for a certain red dress online and couldn’t find the relevant words to describe it. To her it seemed completely unacceptable that searching by picture wasn’t yet ‘a thing’, so she and her team made it so, and, four years down the line, Stye delivers such a feature some of the largest retail groups around the world.
Yet Syte is not the only business developing on visual search technology. Earlier in the year amazon announced its commitment to implementing visual each on its site as an attempt to increase clothing sales. Pinterest is also making a killing by creating shoppable content for advertisers based on visual search criteria. The main industries able to take advantage of this rising technology are that of fashion and home décor but, the concept of being able to search by image is also having an effect of the whole e-commerce ecosystem in a variety of ways.
Raising Customer Expectations
Not every e-commerce website sells something that can be enhanced by visual search, however, the technology is said to
While not every e-commerce site sells something that can be enhanced by visual search, the technology is said to advance and develop customer expectations. “Think back to the best digital experience you’ve ever had,” Pinto Fryman comments “Whatever it was, you remember it. And now you compare every business’s digital experience to it. That is exactly what visual search is going to do for your business, whether you use it or not.”
Customers can not only find exactly what they are looking for via visual search they can also do it five times faster. Such instant gratification is expected to become normality and e-commerce companies around the world will need be on par with that speed should they wish to stay relevant.
Making All Content Shoppable
Martech Zone conducted a study in 2017 and revealed that 1,440 WordPress posts are generated every minute, as-well-as 3.3 million Facebook posts, 500 hours of YouTube vids and 149,513 emails sent. That’s a massive and unimaginable amount of content and if you want your content to be eye catching then you need to go even further by making that content shoppable – significantly increasing your return on investment.
. “By embedding elegant images into the content that direct users to the products they want to buy, your content literally comes to life,” expands Fryman. “Ultimately, visual search will help your team see the true impact of the content you produce.”
SEO is a fact of life and fundamental foundation for e-commerce businesses. It takes extreme diligence to tag every specific item within your catalog. Tagging an item wrongly or not specifically enough can result in the loss of potential sales. Visual search not only streamlines this process but also creates more intricate and specific tagging automatically
As Pinto Fryman explains in the aforementioned blog, visual search “features deep tagging, an image-to-text feature that tags images automatically and makes them interpretable for search engines like Google, as well as textual search engines on websites. Deep tagging can create a rich set of tags for an image within just a few milliseconds.”
Innovation expands far beyond the initial first step. For every new invention, there is a ripple effect that travels much further than the original intent of the creator, Visual search will undoubtedly become a more necessary investment for visual industries, however it will be interesting to see the new standards and consequent incidental features that will inspire far in to the future.