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Visual search is by no means the latest and greatest tech out there, and it’s been around for a few years now. What is new is that online retailers are starting to use it as a tool to help elevate customer experiences – and ultimately conversions.

According to Pinterest, they tally over 600 million visual searches across their visual search platform, Pinterest Lens, in a month. That’s a significant number for just visual searches.

What Is Visual Search?

Visual search is taking a picture of an item you wish to purchase and uploading it to a visual search engine of your choosing. The search engine essentially looks for similar visual results on that item.

To put it practically:

Suppose a customer uploads an image of a crew sweatshirt in a visual search. In that case, they expect to see similar crew sweatshirts in images rather than through the traditional keyword method.

The Two Most Popular Visual Search Tools:

Pinterest Lens

This tool allows users to take a photo of an item and search for where to purchase it online. You can also search for pinboards of items related to that image.

Although Pinterest Lens launched in 2017, the visual discovery engine has made many updates to Lens over the years:

Idea Pins is a multi-page video format (similar to Instagram Stories) that allows business accounts to tell their stories using high-quality video, music, and editing tools.

Pin Codes let users find ideas while they are out shopping. Scan the Pin Code (essentially a QR code) to discover more from that retailer or magazine.

Google Lens
This visual search engine is currently one of the most comprehensive tools out there. It is designed to help users find objects and items through the camera app.

Google Lens allows you to:

• Find look-alike items
Scan your desired home or apparel item and review search results of similar items in retailers near you.

• Scan and translate text from an image
Translate your text from an image in real-time. You can quickly look up words of a foreign language, dial a number, or add calendar events.

• Scan business cards
Quickly scan a business card and save the person’s details to a contact on your phone.

• Copy and paste text
Copy text from handwritten images or screenshots on mobile and paste it into a desktop Chrome browser signed in with your credentials.

• Discover books
Get details of the book summary and read book reviews from others.

• Identify animals and plants
See a plant and want to know what it’s named? Scan it and search. You can use the same functionality for animals too.

• Identify landmarks or buildings
Using your Lens, identify landmarks, learn historical facts about them, hours of operation, and more.

Visual search technology – The future of eCommerce

Multichannel retail has become increasingly important along with mobile shopping. Retailers must look to innovative ways to reach potential customers and keep their attention.

Visual search does this very effectively for online businesses.

AI-powered visual search technology is the next step for this powerful pictorial tool – allowing retailers to engage with their customers more interactively. Visual search saves customers’ time and creates a hassle-free shopping experience – an ideal setting for online retailers.

It’s time to jump on the bandwagon and get started with eCommerce visual search strategies today.