With rising smartphone and internet access, digital trends are taking its own shape as per consumers’ changing needs and technological advances. While brick and mortar stores have always had the advantage of providing first-hand customer product experiences, digital brands fall back on it. For example, Customers cannot test the quality of the furniture or an outfit, etc.. So how do retailers bridge this gap and fast track digital connectivity into the retail world?
Why should E-commerce platforms care?
Online shopping has become the socially accepted norm now, especially for millennials and Gen Z. In a survey, 85% of respondents when shopping online for clothing or furniture gave more importance to visual information than text information (Intent Lab).
Marketeers, it’s time to evolve
Digital brand management is a concept that traditional retail brands have started taking up. The next step for marketers and online businesses was to provide the actual look and feel which early on started with a ‘visual try on’.
In recent years we have seen a creative variety of visual search applications by various brands. From search by image to visually similar product recommendations, the adoption of visual search now comes into play.
On Google, images return for 19% of search queries. With the internet opening up an array of choices for customers to browse through and select their preferences, visual search cuts down the effort. How? Socially integrated visual search helps consumers find intricate details and compare prices of an item they might have either viewed in a store or online.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple and resourceful both for the retailer and the customer,
Take a picture of the product or download the picture of the product
A search engine, similar to Google will pop up with a list of matching items.
Let customers choose from the closer variety and alternatives of products. Happy Online Shopping!
How does it help your business?
It powers through “product discovery” and enables users to find a similar product based on the item they are looking for.
It finds answers to questions like, “Where can I find this A-line dress?” and many others as compared to text search.
“Personalized product recommendations” based on an individual’s choices and not collective consumer preferences.
Avoid incomplete customer purchases as visual search provides “closer alternatives” to products that are out of stock too.
3 Step Model to Maximise Retailer and Customer Experience
By 2021, Businesses that implement visual and voice search in their websites and apps are expected to see a 30% increase in digital commerce revenue. (Gartner Study, 2017)
Step 1: Establish a Social Media Presence
In order for users to optimize visual search, creating an online presence on an image-based platform is a must like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Socially integrated visual search is picking its pace with brands quickly taking notice of this trend and linking visuals to their shopping pages. In the upcoming decade, this is a must for digital marketers and e-commerce sites in building effective and intuitive shopping experiences for their customers.
Step 2: Role of AI in Visual Search tools
While visual search has optimized the modern shopping experience, it wouldn’t be possible without AI. Visual Search tools like Google lens, Pinterest lens, etc., help customers identify exactly what product they would like to purchase from that photo. For example, Pinterest acquires around 600 million visual searches on its Pinterest Lens tool on a monthly basis.
The transformation of visual search through AI is remarkable as it not only helps consumers narrow down their preferences but also helps retailers elevate their product visibility amongst the overload of content online.
Step 3: Creation of a Personalized Shopping Experience
While this technology is cost-effective, competition between retailers is likely to increase, so how can you ensure that you’re at the top of your game? Visual Search provides consumer insights that can be used to not only personalize customer experiences but also predict future market trends. Retailers can distinguish themselves from other E-commerce platforms with this data to customize shopping experiences along with their visual search tools.
However, data insights are a result of repeated customer engagements on the retailer’s websites. The task now for retailers is to devise customer engagement strategies that encourage customers to visit as well as complete their purchase.
Adopt the Trend, Be the Change
Plan on dominating the next era of e-commerce? With these basics in mind, you can be sure to be at the top of your game soon. Visual search will be a prime focus in yielding both, customer conversions and high engagement rates. After all, shopping has always been a visual experience!