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Visual Search: Why it's so important

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Move over voice search, visual search is the new big thing.


What exactly is visual search? You probably have already used it, but if not, you will very soon. Visual search allows web surfers to replace words in their searches with images. Websites and apps can now show a list of images related to the one inserted by a user. The future is here.


These programs utilize artificial intelligence to its best current ability. AI will see an image and comprehend the context of the picture dropped into the search in order to come up with related results. No words needed. Computers are now intelligent enough to piece together the content of an image - not just the coding - and decipher what other images are closely related to it. Search an image of a specific brand name water bottle, and your results will be flooded with the same or similar water bottles.

In e-commerce, visual search is being used by retailers to suggest products in search results related to the item, mainly for fashion and decor companies, but the market is growing and now we see all kinds of e-commerce stores using this technology.


The internet makes things easy for everyone these days, and now, people browsing the web, such as online shoppers, can simply search a picture of an item without knowing what they are specifically looking for. Consumers will now purchase items online that they didn’t know they wanted at a higher rate. It’s a marketer's dream.


Today, you can find visual search on Google, Amazon, Pinterest, Bing and other various retail sites.


“The Global Visual Search Market is estimated to surpass $14,727m by 2023 growing at CAGR +9% during the forecast period 2018–2023” (Report Consultant).


The technology is still in its early stages, but this machine software is learning more every day. Want to learn more about artificial intelligence and its rise in marketing? Check out our blogs Why AI isn’t as scary as you think and The chatbot takeover for everything you need to know about the growing world of technology in marketing.

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