Arya was designing her new home and started following some famous instagram accounts for home decor and furnishing. One of the accounts showed her a lovely living room with an amazing chair. She instantly thought she should have one. Well, this kind of impulsive shopping happens to a lot many of us nowadays, and converting these into proper sales helps build business for e-commerce websites.
What Arya did next was to search for it on a shopping portal. Searching using only keywords wasn’t of much help as she couldn't put that chair's aesthetics into words and she left that portal for another e-commerce website. Two things may have happened which prompted her to seek another website. Either, she did not get what she was searching for or the keyword based search may have led her to results that didn’t match her queries, discouraging her from spending further time on that e-commerce site. How the e-commerce site wished that it supported Visual Search!!!
Among shoppers, 80% of generation Z and 74% of millennials say that social media influences their purchases, according to a 2017 report from Retail Dive. Apart from sharing their lives with others on the internet, they also make important purchase decisions using the social media as they are hugely influenced by what they see there. Industry reports suggest that around 29% of the buyers who browse social media for shopping before going to a physical store are likely to buy online the same day.
The Missed Opportunities
Kylie Jenner posted a picture of her wearing black knee-length boots studded with precious stones and most of her female followers out of her 114 Million followers wanted those boots for themselves. So, it’s close to 57 Million missed opportunities for the e-commerce sites which have these boots or something which was very close to it. And this is only the boots of just one celebrity. There are so celebrities, influencers etc. who daily post hordes of pictures which have a big demand from customers and thus a multitude of opportunities for the e-commerce sites.
So, what is a workable option? One of the simplest ways is to take a screenshot of the product that you are looking for (black boots in the above case) and search for them on the e-commerce website of your choice that supports visual search. The result may lead you to the same or similar product (may be even a much economical one,if you are looking on price sensitive websites), thus converting it into a smart sale opportunity. The point is instead of looking at the trend and suggesting to customers, e-commerce companies should look at integrating with the visual search medium which will give their customers the control to search and choose what they are looking at.
If you look at it vertical-wise also, areas like fashion, baby products, home furnishings and décor tops the list of most influenced and searched products and giving up such segments by not supporting visual search is a business mistake. And with the power of internet growing and new additions and features being added, this number will only grow.
“By 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.- Gartner”
Celebrities and Influencers creating trends
Social Media comprises is making an impact on style and choices of people via Celebrities and Influencers. Celebrities are people from Television, movies, sports, politics, literatures etc. who build their followers via traditional media channels and/or their excellence in their field of expertise. Examples are Beyonce, Lionel Messi, Elon Musk etc.
These celebrities unknowingly and knowingly(brand endorsements) introduce trends that people want to own/buy/use. Remember the white boots the whole hollywood was sporting in 2017 right from Gigi Hadid to Selena Gomez? Every publication including People’s magazine did articles on where to buy those amazing shoes that are trending in google searches day and night.
Influencers build their followers and influence through non-traditional media channels, mainly social media, blogs and vlogs.Examples being Huda Kattan(beauty), Michelle Lewin(fitness), Lewis Hilsenteger(Technology) etc.
Showcasing, liking and buying is the mantra used by most influencers. People get influenced by these and the trends around the time determine their buying pattern. More than stars, styles trend on social media.The frontrunner for the most Instagrammed in 2017 is Réalisation Par's sold-out midi skirt, as seen on style stars like AnneLaure Mais.
All of these chairs, white boots, pants, skirts are somewhere present on most of the Ecommerce sites but are just difficult to find. Enter Visual search : Let shoppers search items using screenshots of their celebrities on your platform .
Most of the celebrity and influencer based trends are either premium which 90% of the people cannot afford or are limited edition and get sold off even before people know about it. The e-commerce sites may have products that are similar or the first copy products that match the style element requirements even while there is a slight variation from the uber luxe original one. If the e-commerce sites markets itself on providing visual search that can instantly search for these market trending products, a new segment of customers is opened to who will be catered , thus upping business propositions.
Giving the users the power to visual search products in the e-commerce sites is a 360 degree winning situation, helping the customer in getting what they want and the e-commerce site in converting a shopper into a successful buyer.
“Turing Analytics is a machine learning company that delivers intelligent solutions to Retailers helping them improve product discovery, customer engagement and boost conversion rates. They expertise in building Visual Search & recommendation solutions, which enable retailers to recommend visually similar products to their customers and search products by uploading a picture.”