Solutions: Visual Search Unlocks mCommerce
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Integration of mobile visual search into the apps of retailers like Pinterest is increasing quickly -- for good reason. The feature will play a crucial role this coming holiday season as the majority of shoppers turn to their smartphones.
Visual search utilizes one of the most popular features of a smartphone, the camera, and lets users take a photo of something they like, find the exact item or a similar product, and then buy it.
The use of mobile devices while shopping is skyrocketing. As a result, mobile is very important to many retailers. And because of the small screen on mobile phones, it’s critical that retailers make the browsing and shopping process as seamless as possible.
Visual search is more than just a new variation of the bar code scanner. In its most popular form, visual search lets the shopper take a shot of something they like and then finds it for them. But the search option doesn’t just attempt to find the exact same item, it also finds the closest similar item if that product isn’t available.
As with any new piece of technology, there is a learning curve for everyone involved. Shoppers are unfamiliar with the technology and it can take a significant marketing campaign just to inform them about the feature. One of the biggest barriers, however, may well be the retail environment itself.
In-store connectivity is still an issue in many locations. It's not unusual for a retailer to offer free Wi-Fi, but intermittent outages and dead zones are common, and cellular signals are often hard to come by.
That future may become clearer quite soon. Mobile visual search could play a prominent role in the upcoming holiday season. Many large retailers are making catalogs and circulars shoppable, waiting to see if consumers will use images to inform purchases.
The next step for retailers will be mining the data that mobile visual search collects. Data gathered from visual search could be more valuable than making the sale, acquiring customers, or winning their loyalty. But, that’s an entirely different story.
Sources: Wazzat Labs