Google Lens and the continuing future of Visual Search

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

The way forward for AI and retail is Visual Search

Machine learning is taking online search to new levels, and it’s not only voice search that’s increasing. While many have already been centered on the marketing potential of capturing conversational queries barked at Alexa over breakfast, big brands have already been quietly creating a stronger competitor in interactive SEO: visual search.

For decades, we’ve sought out information and products online utilizing a text search bar. The introduction of voice search has since made waves in local SEO, with users looking for opening times, directions, weather reports along with other of-the-minute information – nonetheless it has left many trusted online retailers feeling stumped. Don’t assume all trend fits with every business design, and for businesses who rely heavily on visuals to operate a vehicle conversions, the chance brought by voice search has often felt limited.

Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and in accordance with research by Kissmetrics 93% of consumers consider visuals to function as key deciding element in a purchasing decision – which explains why during the last couple of years, ecommerce sites have already been bulking up photo galleries and adding 360° videos in order to increase conversions. Now, because of innovations like Google Lens and Pinterest’s Shop the appearance, the payoff for that work seems set to improve.

Visual search

What is visual search?

When you’ve seen something or a graphic of something that’s caught your eye but are unsure of the brand, the model, the name of this style, that’s where visual search will come in.

Unlike a graphic search, where a typical text search pulls possible relevant images using structured data, visual search may be the procedure for fulfilling searches through the use of machine understanding how to analyze components inside a submitted photo, and finding results that replicate or relate with those visual cues. Think about just how that Facebook now recognizes the faces of friends you’ve tagged in past images – it’s this genre of technology that’s now used to build up wider visual search.

Just as possible look across an area and see a number of objects, read labels and observe features, so can visual search AI. Google Lens, for instance, can see a graphic of a landmark and provide you information on its history or where you can buy tickets to go inside. It could look at your photo of a book and provide recent reviews for that title, places to get it online and alternative books by exactly the same author.

In exactly the same manner, Pinterest’s visual search functions permit you to select various areas of an image – a set of shoes, a lamp, a paint colour – and discover similar products to get. Additionally, it may offer outfits or room décor suggestions offering other what to pair your selection with.

The present state of visual search

Right now, Google Lens is on Pixel phones, boosted by high-end camera technology but inaccessible to your average iPhone user. However, the less advanced Bing Visual Search can be acquired to anyone, enabling you to select section of a graphic within traditional image search and discover images linked to that certain detail elsewhere on the internet. Research modern kitchen designs and you will decide on a stool or vase within the image, before browsing a huge selection of similar options for sale.

Visual search

eBay announced in 2017 they were gearing around launch THINK IT IS On eBay, adding image search functionality with their app and mobile website and enabling users to snap an image and instantly find anything on eBay that appeared as if it. They’ve also cashed in beyond their very own domains, recently announcing a collaboration with Mashable in america where users can look for eBay products that bear resemblance to clothes and items in Mashable images – all without leaving Mashable’s site.

The prospect of ecommerce sites to capitalize with this design of search is huge. Keyword-generated image search could be frustrating when confronted with vast inventories and products that could have already been incorrectly or poorly tagged, or described using terms we haven’t considered. Users who’ve found themselves typing atlanta divorce attorneys variation of a colour name or style description in the hope of finding what they’re searching for tend to be more than ready for a straightforward and effective visual-match search.

We already see shoppable images and videos on Snapchat and Instagram, tailored ads and sponsored posts showing up and begging us to click and buy. But advanced visual search goes further for the reason that not merely can users seek out items within any image online and obtain relevant results in seconds, they are able to also seek out things they’ve observed in real life.

People will get cheaper alternatives to items they’ve observed in a shop window or print magazine, or identify a number of plant they’d prefer to increase their garden. In addition to offering increased convenience from the user perspective, retailers who optimize their sites effectively should find a rise in relevant traffic that’s prepared to convert.

Visual search

Optimizing for visual search

Though visual search could have uses in a variety of industries, it appears fair to assume that intuitive tactic will undoubtedly be retail-dominated. Sites should still make sure that their images are optimized using structural data along with other traditional SEO tactics, but in the years ahead there’s also a dependence on imagery to be clutter-free and possible for visual search tools to process as the technology continues to be developing. Not to mention, there must be a lot of imagery to digest to begin with.

How to optimize for visual search:

  • Offer a variety of clear images for every product
  • Optimize image titles with target keywords
  • Submit image sitemaps
  • Set up image badges
  • Optimize image sizes and file types
  • Run structured data tests

Generally speaking, the more steps you can find between the start of purchase funnel and the checkout, the bigger the cart abandonment rate. The Baymard Institute say  that typically, nearly 70% of online carts are abandoned before checkout, and an extended process to access the payment screen could cause around a third of users to ditch a niche site and shop elsewhere.

Enabling users to get your product via one image search, because of clear product photography that downloads quickly on any device, cuts out the most common steps of searching by item type, size and colour, looking at pages to find the best fit and, eventually, achieving the checkout stage.

In essence, traditional image optimisation continues to be half the battle – another is making certain you’ve put plenty of time and thought into your product photography to begin with.

Visual search is defined to dramatically enhance the online shopping experience in the coming years, sufficient reason for retail ecommerce sales in the united kingdom predicted to attain a value of almost £94billion in 2018, there couldn’t be considered a better time and energy to profit.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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