How Visual Search Will Revolutionize the Buyer Experience

August 26, 2015 Krystal Overmyer

How Visual Search Will Revolutionize the Buyer Experience

Retailers are enhancing visual search capabilities, hoping the feature will make it easier for consumers to find and buy the products they encounter in everyday life. For digital marketing professionals, jumping on the visual trend could pay off big. Mobile searching via images is poised to explode in coming years, experts predict.

When Words Aren’t Enough

Using images to enhance visual search for brands

For all of us out there too timid to ask a stranger, “Where did you get that dress?” visual searching comes to the rescue. Snap an image with your smartphone, plug it into a search-by-image search engine, and hundreds of similar images appear at your fingertips.

Retailers take the idea one step further. Shoes.com, for example, recently announced its foray into the visual world, partnering with Slyce to allow mobile visitors to snap a picture of footwear and search for closely matching products in the Shoes.com arsenal. From there, customers can purchase their favorite pairs in just a few taps.

Similarly, Home Depot’s iPhone app now allows users to snap an image of what they need, and the app will search for similar products. Now in beta, the new feature puts an end to the days of going to the hardware store and asking where the “thingamajigs” are located.

The idea of searching by image is simple enough, but as the technology improves, it could be revolutionary. Before visual searching, consumers had to shop store to store to hunt for something they saw on the street or in a magazine, if they could find it at all. Visual searching pinches that process down to seconds.

The Digital Marketing Advantage

The rise of visual searching technology has the potential to upend search as we know it, experts say—and digital marketing along with it. In five years, images and speech could account for 50 percent of all search queries, according to Baidu, the second-largest web search provider.

The demand for visual searching perhaps goes back to how we’re wired. People process images about 600,000 times faster than text, the Content Standard reported. The ubiquity of mobile devices has opened up new ways of using imagery to communicate—whether sending a text with an emoji or searching for a cute shirt you saw someone wearing on the subway. Retailer apps could be just the beginning. See a home you like? Snap a picture to search for similar homes on the market. Smitten by a beautiful postcard of a tropical beach? Take a picture to search for similar beach getaways.

For digital marketing experts in the retail sphere, visual search can help them give consumers the personalized shopping experience they seek. Marketers already understand that shoppers are spending more time on mobile devices before—and while—they shop. Visual search is one more tool in the digital marketing toolbox to allow retailers to build a relationship with consumers moment by moment, whenever or wherever they may be.

Wondering how to optimize your content marketing strategy with images? Check out Skyword’s webinar on how we incorporated Bigstock images through the Platform.

The post How Visual Search Will Revolutionize the Buyer Experience appeared first on The Content Standard by Skyword.

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