Visual Search - A must-have for fashion & apparel online sellers in 2021

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Not all youngsters are obsessed with fashion, but many consider their clothes a statement of their interests and personalities. One thing they do have in common is the preference to buy things online and eagerness for updating new trend. Visual search has all the 3 factors that fashion shoppers are craving. It’s exciting, trendy and, most importantly, it makes online shopping easier. For retailers, visual search can boosts the conversion rate by 85% (more below).

Visual search on Fashion Nova's website

Let’s dive in 3 reasons why fashion retailers should implement visual search for their ecommerce websites or apps.

1. Give the fashion enthusiasts what they want

Ariana Grande said “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it”. This is a typical psychology. For clothes and fashion items, usually if you like something, you will want to own it. How frustrating it is to see a shirt, like it but can’t find it and buy it. To fashion brands, this frustration means a sales loss. You have the product but your potential customers don’t know about it.

What if there is a solution to solve all that? Visual search is a win-win situation for both sellers and buyers. Customers can search for any product just by taking a picture from magazines or posters, billboards, banners. Product search will become so much easier. As soon as customers get interested in any fashion item, they can find it without breaking a sweat.

Source: Unsplash

No more being frustrated with typing a bunch of keywords and still not being able to find a dress that looks exactly as the one you just saw on TV. No more hours wasted to go through many stores, just to find the pair of earrings that your friend has. You can simply take your phone and snap a picture or upload a photo from social media to search for it.

But it's online retailers who get the most rewarding prize: customer satisfaction and higher conversion rate. In addition, customers know about your business for having innovative shopping solution, which is a plus point to brand recognition.

2. Don’t be left behind

Foreseeing the hype of fashion lovers over this new technology trend, popular brands such as Louis Vuitton, Zara, Mango, Zalora, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Boohoo… have already implemented visual search for their online businesses. Huge ecommerce sites such as Amazon and Taobao have validated the impact of integrating visual search with better customer satisfaction.

Taobao, the most popular e-commerce site from China, is taking advantage of visual search to break down the language barrier for shoppers. They introduced visual search on their website and their shopping app, which makes shopping for foreigners (who don’t speak Mandarin) easier.


Barely putting much effort in advertising, Taobao still got a lot of articles from fashion bloggers or influencers that give instructions on how to use the visual search to buy things on their app. During Paris Fashion Show 2019, Taobao conducted a campaign to encourage the audience to take photos of any outfit they like on the runway, and the Taobao app linked them straight to a T-mall online store that provides the exact item they like.

Not to mention, Google and Bing - two largest search engines - have been applying visual search for a long time. Therefore, more and more people knows how it works. It’s simple and easy.

Statistics show that the technology has been widely adopted. Buyers would choose what is most convenient for them. In a few years, voice search and visual search would be e-commerce norm. Retailers had better get ready soon.

3. Most importantly - Earn higher conversion rate and higher sales

Should you ever doubt of the 85% figure from the opening of the article, it is not a click bait. By introducing camera search, Boohoo gets an 85% increase in conversion rate, 12% higher average order value and 135% increase in page visit per session (Grit Daily).

Once you can stir customers’ curiosity with the new technology, you have earned half of the success. Early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30% by 2021.

If you are interested in achieving the same result, contact us for expert support on visual search for your online store.

More on our implementation insights:

4 questions to answer before implementing

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