What you see can be just what you get
4 March 2019
Author: Jasmine Waters
We may use it everyday, but the Internet is continuously changing the way we shop more than we are even aware of. With text alone no longer bringing in multiple sales or staying customers, the new wave of ‘visual searching’ looks set to stay. But what exactly is it, how does it work and how can your brand benefit from it?
What is visual searching?
Visual searching does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a function and process that’s using AI (artificial intelligence) to match an existing image to a product image on a retailer’s website. This could be taken straight from a consumer’s iPhone, prompting the future of visual searching expansion to end up being limitless – not to mention, completely personalised. The statistics speak for themselves; with platform BloomReach finding consumers were 57% more likely to make a return visit to an online store, and spend on average 9% more, if this feature were to be accessible. And sure enough, this style of searching is fast becoming a shopping staple, with the likes of Amazon and M&S hoping to provide additional style inspiration to their mobile customers.
How do I utilise it?
Much like most of what the retail world is trying to achieve, adopting visual searching technology will ensure you stay at the front of relevance. To get your brand images featured on visual searches, start by using Schema Markups, or try out the challenge of trying to get into the ‘similar’ or ‘related items’ categories by providing more quality detail. Make sure you validate your implementation – make sure every aspect of information you’re putting out there is 100% user friendly. Quality mark-ups will always increase your chances of being seen, and search targeted keywords to see how well you’re ranking.
We’re seeing more commonplace ‘see, snap, buy’ consumer behaviour, where people don’t like being sold to, but they love to buy. The ability to be able to cater to this is endless – with the likes of QR codes or snap tags looking to be a thing of the past. Billboards could connect straight to products, strangers in the street could become walking outfit ads and product packaging could quite literally come to life – there’s no denying the impact and potential visual searching is likely to have.