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Images are a major part of online shopping. After all, most of us wouldn’t buy something we can’t preview. We all know images are an important part of any listing, but they’re about to get even more important with the growing popularity of visual search.

What is Visual Search?

The typical online shopper types out their search query using a few words. For example, if you’re looking for a dress, you might type in “burgundy dress.»

Now let’s say you’re shopping for a dress and can’t find exactly what you want, but you find something that is almost perfect. You can conduct a search using images of that item, which may yield exactly what you’re looking for (or better).

With visual search, relevant images can yield better results than traditional search would have.

This opens up a whole new world for online retail and promotes a new level of efficiency for consumers.

Save Time, Simplify Search

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to describe exactly what you’re looking for. Not only that, it can also be a time-consuming process.

By using an image you saved, or one taken at the moment, you can save yourself the time and hassle of searching for a product that you may not otherwise have the right words for.

Visual search simplifies normal product searches and can expedite abstract product searches.

3 Reasons Why You Need Visual Search for Your Online Store

As you can probably imagine, visual search is revolutionizing e-commerce websites. Brands like eBay, Amazon, Target, ASOS, JC Penney, and Neiman Marcus all use visual search to improve customer experience and execute digital marketing strategies like shop-the-look, cross-selling, and much more.

Reason #1: Shop the Look

A lot of the times your customers see products on their way to work, in magazines, and on websites that they’d like to buy. And sometimes it’s difficult to run textual search queries simply because they’re not sure how to describe the product.

For instance, a consumer might like the new jacket of her colleage at the office but not be sure what it’s called, what type of a jacker it is, or what the general jacket-buying jargon is.

Visual search gives them the option to search for that exact jacket (or the closest match) using machine learning algorithms. If you sell jackets then you could certainly benefit from integrating a visual search module into your online store.

Reason #2: Social Media Influenced Purchases

Studies indicate that nearly 74% of online shoppers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions. Not to mention that more than 69% of Generation Z consumers are interested in making purchases directly through social media platforms.

Visual search lets you facilitate consumers by helping them find the products they see on their social feeds simply by uploading an image.

Reason #3: Cross-Selling

Since the visual search algorithms are trained to rank search results based on a similarity score, prospective customers will always see some products show up in their search results. By presenting customers with similar products, visual search algorithms double as excellent cross-selling tools.

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