Visual search is just a new way of searching for products on the internet by using an image, rather than the traditional method of typing keywords.
For instance, if you saw a new Nike Jordan shoe with a specific colour on a social media platform, but don’t know exactly how to describe it in words, you can visual search and find the related matching product by uploading the screenshot. In this case, the visual search saves a lot of time and offers quick results.
Visual search has been around for many years and was built into social media and e-commerce platforms like Snapchat and Amazon. But it is gaining popularity now.
According to a survey by an artificial intelligence company a few years ago, 62 per cent of Gen Z and millennial consumers sought visual search capabilities more than any other technology.
Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai said people are using Google Lens to conduct visual searches more than 8 billion times a month. There are over 600 million visual searches on Pinterest every month.
A successful visual search engine requires machines to not only detect, but also recognise specific objects in the image to understand what the customer actually wants, and this is where the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning helps.
This technology is mostly employed by e-commerce players to improve the shopping experience of consumers. In India, Flipkart and Meesho have employed visual search technology. For categories such as fashion, jewellery, home decor, and beauty products, images play a key role in influencing decisions and add a lot of convenience for customers.
For the last few years, the visual search market has also made big strides in other various fields too such as aviation, forestry, automotive OEMs and electronics. There are also use cases in security screening, baggage scanning and navigation systems. The global visual search market is projected to surpass $14,727 million by 2023, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 9 per cent.
Img source – Google