Visual Search; What You See Is What You Get.

Let us ask you a question;  Have you ever seen a product image, liked it, wanted to buy from it but just couldn’t describe what it was? Sometimes searching “Marble tables” is just not enough. Well, we come baring good news. You do not have to worry about it anymore, because visual search is about to make your life better. Sure, it is one of the lesser-discussed form of search but that doesn’t mean it is not useful.

What is it? What does it do and how does it work? Does it help businesses in their marketing strategies? Is it useful for online shopping? Today’s blog will explain all about one of the newest marketing features, visual search, and everything you need to know about it! . 

Visual search, just as the name entails, is the process of searching something using visuals i.e., images. Think of pictures you downloaded from Pinterest, screenshots you took off a platform, a photography you shot while walking in the park and so on.

Many online shoppers with the same pain points can now, with the help of both computer vision and artificial intelligence, enjoy visual search and find similar products as their favorite purple coffee mug. If you didn’t notice yet, this technology is mostly useful for ecommerce stores and brands.

Before we end our definition for visual search, there is one more important thing to mention. Many people think that visual search and image search are the same concept with different wordings, but nope! Although both search types are based on imagery, their difference is:

  • Image search is when a person uses words in order to conduct their search. For example, searching for a long grey couch by using the words “Long – grey – Couch”
  • Visual search is when a person uses images in order to conduct their search. That is, using an image of a long grey couch in order to find similar related results.

How Is This Possible?

Well, to answer your question in a simple way and to not sound too techy, visual search technology uses AI (artificial intelligence) to understand the details of the provided picture. After the search, it provides us with a list of related results. Uploading an image and get product recommendations that are visually compatible with the items in the image won’t be just something to imagine.

Here are some about computer vision due to Semrush:

  • Machines, apart from having computer vision, also have the ability to interpret what they are seeing and come up with a decision.
  • Computer vision is not something new, in fact it has been around for a long time. However, the advancement of machine learning technology helped visual search to boom.
  • It is because of the machine leaning that computer vision can take the needed information to understand what is presented in an image.

Another form of search called “multimodal search” has also started to come forward which uses not only texts and images, but also videos simultaneously to form a query.

Where can I Find a Platform That Offers Me Visual Search?

Visual search engines today are found in the palm of our hands, but we might not even know about them. Did you know Google is one of the main visual search engines today? Along with Pinterest, e-bay, IKEA, and Amazon.

On top of these multimillion-dollar companies, there are some brands and smartphones manufacturers that have hopped on the visual search AI trend. For example, ASOS, Zalando and H&M are online shopping brands that have used Visual recognition technology to their advantage. Smartphone manufacturers (Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, etc.) also enable shoppable experiences using visual AI.

How Can Visual Search Help You In Marketing ?

When you are given a book, do you choose the one that has pictures and colors in it or the simple plain one that just doesn’t seem to end? No matter how old, I’m sure most of us will choose the one that has more than words in it. You can compare this to today’s marketing world.

With more and more discoveries, it is becoming easier to interact with the world around us. Now that visual search has been discovered, marketing is advancing too! Let’s look at how visual search has played a part in marketing.

  1. To start with, it’s fast, easy, and extremely fun! Just imagine, people now can go from looking at an image to purchasing in just a few seconds. Amazing, right? On top of everything listed, visual search has become more popular than ever. About one out of every four searches across the entire internet are for images, so if you think that you won’t benefit from it, you are wrong.
  2. Visual search also has a strong connection with influencing customer’s buying decision. Nowadays social media platforms play a big part on our lives, inspiring new ideas, influencing what to buy next and introducing new trends. Did you know that over 70% of fashion searches were triggered by images? Images have a great influence on people, after all, a picture is worth a 1000 words.
  3. Finally, a company that appears for the result of a popular search query could stand to make a lot of money. For a business that suffers to reach young audiences, this can lead them into making higher sales.

To make this even more interesting, here are some facts about visual marketing that can help you understand why and how visual search can help your business.

  • More than 62% of millennials and GenZ choose visual search capability over any other technology.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • When the feature is available on the app, 20% of the users make use of it.
  • Over 1 billion objects can be detected on Google Lens.
  • Image-based Pinterest Ads have an 8.5% conversion rate.
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