Mobile Visual Search is in great demand but… Why are eCommerces not (R)evolutionizing their searchers?
The mobile boom has changed information access habits and made internet users employ less searchers (according to what we currently understand as a searcher). New generations, Millennials and Centennials, are changing the way we understand them but also the way we use them.
Searchers were born for the desktop environment, aimed at covering its needs, but we can agree that these do not work quite as well for the mobile experience. Basically, mobile devices do not have a comfortable keyboard and screens have a smaller size. Though the desire to optimize the number of devices is increasing the size of our smartphones. But whatever the reason, the truth is we do not search the same way using a mobile device as we do using a computer. In addition, some apps, such as Shazam, have come to simplify and optimize search processes, minimizing the use of traditional searchers (GOOGLE) and casting doubts upon the effectiveness of semantic searchers in certain sectors such as music.
The democratization of technology is conveying a genuine (R)evolution and searchers have not, at all, been left behind. Extremely complex technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) or Artificial Intelligence seep into our daily lives to make them easier and, especially, to make the world a more “searchable” place. Testament to this is the success of apps such as Blippar. The democratization of technology is allowing, for example, that nowadays any person may access a universe of information or buy a product from a simple photography, carried out by our devices, without the need to write or describe anything. Therefore, the mobile visual search is being positioned as the new search engine, or at least, the most sought after by young consumers.
So, if mobiles are changing the way we access information, why is eCommerce not evolving their searchers?
In our article dedicated to mCommerce we’ve already said that mobile devices have become the main entry gate for eCommerce. Hence, they have been forced to integrate the mobile experience. But the truth is that they are doing this in a superficial way, given that now we can only see a responsive design, at least in most of the fashion eCommerces. So, they have adapted their format but not their usability.
Very few have optimized their purchase processes. Most still keep their same registration and payment systems for desktop format, search engines are text-based and finding the desired product implies a forced browsing of categories or image walls. And as we have said from the beginning, we do not use a mobile to search the way we use a computer. But beyond just usability, we are talking about effectiveness. Therefore it is important to note and share the very relevant information given to us by one of our clients, a Europe-based eCommerce: 80% of semantic searches fail. Hence the integration of visual search engines for fashion eCommerces is the next logical step to adapting their business to the new Mobile Era.
Some eCommerces have chosen the app format to improve user experience and offer a purchase experienced that is enhanced and visual, such is the case of Net-a-Porter or Macy’s. But… Why develop an APP when you can integrate these same features in your actual eCommerce? Because not all businesses are capable of bearing the cost of an APP, which is just one more channel, when all is said and done.
The cost of developing apps may be relative when compared to the continued and important investment which must be made for catching users and keeping them loyal. Therefore in Wide Eyes Technologies, we have chosen a simple integration system for our fashion visual searcher such as escript. This is because the complexity of computer vision and artificial intelligence algorithms is simplified and abstracted through an API interface allowing us to integrate our solutions with a non-existent learning curve.
The integration of a simple visual search integration widget in the site may make the world shoppable through eCommerce, turning it into an attractive mCommerce. Furthermore, the visual searcher may also facilitate searches for similar products within eCommerce too and recommended products may become products visually similar to the desired product. In other words, a simple visual search integration widget may increase your customer’ engagement with your brand, AOV by 21,3% and the conversion ratio by 38,8%. Because in Wide Eyes Technologies we understand integrating the mobile experience to eCommerce does not just increase usability, but also efficiency and, even, sales.