Etsy has introduced image search on its iOS app, allowing shoppers to find items by uploading an image or taking a photo. The platform will then seek out visually similar images from its marketplace of more than 100 million items to generate matching ideas.
The feature can help shoppers turn inspiration from outside the marketplace into a purchase, particularly when they are having trouble finding the right words to describe what they like about a particular item or style. Image search will help boost discovery by adding more ways for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
“We’re always investing in our marketplace to make it easier for sellers to grow their businesses,” said Han Cho, App Product Leader at Etsy in a statement. “We’re excited for this new, innovative feature to make it easier for sellers to get discovered and connect with our built-in base of nearly 90 million buyers around the world.”
The new feature was created at CodeMosaic, an annual Etsy Hackathon that gives engineers the opportunities to flex their skills while building creative solutions. Development is continuing, and Etsy plans to further improve the user experience and roll image search out to Android users in the future.
Making online search functions more natural and visual is a goal for companies across the retail and tech spaces. Google has been among the leaders in this area, including through its annual SearchOn events, where the tech giant discusses the latest innovations and its own new releases.
“The way people seek information isn’t confined to a text box,” said Prabhakar Raghavanat, SVP at Google during the 2022 SearchOn event. “We’re now able to understand information in its many forms, from language to images to things in the real world. With this deeper understanding, we’re going far beyond the search box to create a search experience that works more like our minds, that is as multi-dimensional as people are. As we enter this new era of search, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for by combining images, sounds, text and speech.”