Fashion E-commerce, Marketing

How reverse image search engine is revolutionizing fashion e-commerce

How many times have you come across something on the internet and thought “where would I find this?” As visual creatures, the world we see sparks inspiration, consideration and ultimately leads to a purchase. Visual search is one such technology that helps one search for products using pictures rather than keywords. And it has become an important business tool that’s changing the way people interact with products around them. In fact, around 75% of internet users in the USA are already searching for visual content before making any purchases. This rise in visual search is fueled by customers desire to search for new brands/products.

As fashion brands are always competing for market share, visual search is a good way to gain ground.

With new, intelligent, visual search technology being incorporated by brands and major platforms like Pinterest, Google, and Bing, it is changing the search market landscape as we know it. Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann previously said that “the future of search will be about pictures rather than keywords.”

Also with the recent advancements in visual search technologies, ASOS, Pinterest and Target are some brands who are already making it easier for users to just snapshot an image, upload it and find similar results.

Furthermore, Pinterest has been allowing its audience to visually search for items since 2014. ‘Pinterest lens’ lets you use your mobile camera to discover products inspired by your surroundings and what you see in the world. Pinterest has brilliantly used this technology to boost its ability to generate income as an advertising platform. Pinterest also used ‘shop the look’ for users to simply click and buy the product.

This reverse search engine feature on Pinterest lets you zoom in and searches for similar products

Since consumers are 80% more willing to engage with visuals, process pictures 60,000 times faster than text and content with relevant images earn 94% more views. Here are the 3 big advantages that visual search has over text-based search when it comes to on-page and off-page SEO-

1.Reduction of extra steps for customer: During the buying process, if a customer has to scroll through 10 pages to find a particular product, it can be a buzz kill for them. The chances of them buying a product after going through so many pages are almost NIL. Visual search eliminates the tedious task of searching by bringing users straight to the products that match they are ‘visualizing’ what. It generally yields a more targeted result and translates to better usability. Assuming your visual search is accurate, your users a better experience and you as the shop owner may also be able to retain them as a customer.

2. Refined on-site search: Qualified leads that are looking for a specific product usually want more control over their search parameters. Visual search allows them to filter their search beyond keywords. The product recommendations are based on similar visuals, colors and complementary styles. The benefits to refining on-site visual search are:-

  • It can increase customer satisfaction
  • It can Increase customer engagement
  • It can simplify the buying process
  • It can increase sales
  • It can lead to higher conversion rates

3. Eliminate roadblocks: The first roadblock happens off page and can also occur long before the customer even finds your website. For example, on Pinterest, if the search shows a picture that the customer doesn’t like, they will not click on it and hence, you will not be able to drive traffic to your home page. But, if the results match their criteria they will come on your website and buy the product instantaneously.

The other roadblock occurs on-page when users can’t find what they are looking for on your page. Assuming that product is out of stock, a carefully implemented visual search program can show results for a similar color, style or size preference. This way you can ensure your customer always finds something that is closest to their search.

Now that you know about the advantages, let’s talk about how you can get started with visual search

There are many options like Slyce , Visenze, and Cortexica that are available if you want to add a visual search to your e-commerce website.

However, as with all applications designed to improve the user experience and SEO, it will be useless if you do not measure your results and continue altering. After you have implemented the visual search technology on an e-commerce website, you should measure your conversion rates, click through rates, abandoned shopping carts, product views, bounce rates, and inbound links.

You should also pay close attention to where you’re driving your traffic from; for example, Pinterest, Google or other paid channels. Implementing visual search will be of no value if customers can’t find your website in the first place. You can use tools like LinkAssistant which will help you increase your outreach and chase down high-quality link opportunities.

With that being said, text keywords will still remain a vital part of how search engines will find and catalog your images. So even if you implement visual search technology, you will still need rich keywords and detailed meta-data. But, compelling images is what will make it a great visual search platform.

Visual search will probably never really replace text-keywords but, in an industry that’s so reliant on visuals to appeal its audience, it is definitely a trend to watch out for.

 

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