Retailers are implementing cutting-edge tools and technologies in an effort to make their brand experiences more inspiring and memorable. One technology coming to the forefront is visual search, which enables consumers to better bridge the physical and digital worlds.
SHOES.com has rolled out a new “snap-to-purchase” capability that allows consumers visiting SHOEme.caand OnlineShoes.com to snap photos of footwear on the street and in magazines, and then receive search results featuring direct or close matching products. The new experienced was developed using visual search technology from Slyce.
With the new “snap-to-purchase” experience, SHOES.com aims to accelerate the decision-making process, bringing consumers from inspiration to discovery in a matter of seconds, according to Roger Hardy, Co-Founder and CEO of SHOES.com.
“The mobile experience has become super transactional over the last few years,” Hardy said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The goal is to try to inspire customers by offering new and better ways to find products that they might enjoy.”
No application is necessary to access the visual search tool; consumers can use the feature directly within the SHOES.com mobile site.
“If a customer is at a restaurant and sees something that they’re inspired by, or if they’re at work, they can quickly snap a photo of that shoe and they’ll instantly see shoes that are exact matches and also similar to that shoes,” Hardy said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It will give them a chance to discover what their buying options are. It increases convenience to customers. When you’re trying to track down a style of shoe a person is wearing, this solution makes the process a lot easier.”
After finding their desired product, consumers can purchase it on a mobile device with just a few taps on the screen. Even if the suggested item doesn’t directly match the photographed product, the consumer can access a larger pool of the SHOES.com inventory, which consists of more than 500 brands.
“This technology gives customers a more relevant, personalized experience, enabling customers to tell us what they’re interested in,” Hardy explained. “Our company is able to source from our different brands and suppliers instantly to pull up a curated collection just for you. We’re curating a collection based on the small bit of information you’re giving us. By telling us those interests, we can provide instant personalization and curation that is difficult to accomplish without visual search.”
The SHOES.com business relies heavily on personalization to bring in repeat customers, which are a necessity as the company looks to hit its goal to build a $1 billion dollar business by 2020. In 2015, the retailer has taken strides to get closer to that mark, relaunching its e-Commerce site with a new design, and adding more brands to its inventory assortment.
Although SHOES.com isn’t the first retailer working with the Slyce visual search capabilities, it is the first footwear retailer to implement the technology.