With today’s consumers embracing images over text, retailers have started introducing visual search tools.
Earlier this year we wrote about the rise of image recognition apps and tools like Amazon’s Flow. But reality seems to fall short of the promise to easily find matches with any products captured in a photo, or a Shazam for shopping, as some put it. This week The Business of Fashion explores “The Trouble with Fashion Recognition Apps,” concluding that the technology just isn’t sophisticated enough yet. Still, with today’s consumers embracing images over text, retailers have started introducing visual search tools.
Macy’s positions its Image Search app, developed by the retailer’s Idea Lab, as a “fun new way to shop” by using photos to search for products; users are directed to similar goods at macys.com. Neiman Marcus recently launched a “Snap. Find. Shop” feature in its mobile app, touting that it is first to market with this tool in the luxury sector. “Visual search removes hurdles, taking you directly from inspiration to gratification,” says CMO Wanda Gierhart in a release.
The Business of Fashion reports that e-commerce site Zalando saw “an uptick” in sales after testing an image recognition app in Germany and is looking to introduce it across Europe. While such tools can promote showrooming, they may also help boost business from loyal shoppers—Neiman is reportedly aiming for consumers to use its image recognition feature in competitors’ stores.