Semantic search bars make our lives easier every day. By predicting your exact search requirements, before you’ve even finished the query, it makes browsing the web that little bit speedier. And considering the current trend for all things convenience, it’s not hard to understand the popularity of semantic search.
If you thought this revolutionary tech was impressive, wait until you familiarise yourself with the next level of smart-search functionality. Here’s a guide on visual search and how it can be leveraged to benefit your site.
Optimising search for the individual
Visual search could otherwise be known as ‘tailored search’. Never before has a user been given such relevant information with barely a few strokes of the keyboard. This new technology uses algorithms and past engagement metrics to give top results of products most likely to appeal to the user.
It usually shows via a hover page as they begin entering their search. Thanks to the analysis of previous buying habits, clicking and viewing time on site, these predicted results are surprisingly relevant.
Pioneering this new search
Surf clothing and accessories retailer O’Neill was the first company to pioneer this technology. Not surprisingly, the company has recorded year on year increases to conversions since visual search was set up on their product pages. According to reports, O’Neill’s conversation rate almost doubled over a 12-month period from 2013 to 2014.
This remarkable leap shows just how effective visual search can have on those users who would otherwise click off site. It not only gives a more tailored shopping experience but provides a great way to showcase products that may have been missed by the user.
Will visual search become mainstream?
Given the success of those pioneering this method such as O’Neill, you can expect plenty more retailers to implement visual search over the following years. A major supplier of real-time visual search, Reflektion recently commented on the growth of this technology.
According to CEO Sean Moran, the importance of this tool across all ecommerce sites “is based on repeat visitors finding that search has become a highly efficient way to find the things they are most interested in, and subsequently, conversion rates and revenue increase quickly as well.”
However, there can be some stumbling blocks for this new phase of technology. Some companies have seen issues from faulty algorithms which neither give relevant nor accurate results. This could also lead to the ‘no result found’ message being listed which can actually be harmful to conversions. Otherwise, visual search can be slow to load suggestions which renders the concept useless. Matching with an incorrect product type is another potential issue, giving a less that impressive user experience.
That said, there are ways to overcome these teething problems. As more companies continue to employ successful visual search methods, it could be worth investing in this new technology. Not only could you increase conversions but you’ll feature this innovative tech before most of your competition!