It’s been said that one picture is worth a thousand words. But thanks to digital technologies, it also may be worth a thousand products. At least, that’s a distinct possibility thanks to a new twist on visual search offered by certain ecommerce brands.
Here’s how it works – An individual desires a certain item from an online brand. Rather than enter descriptive text in a search box, the shopper snaps a picture of something that closely resembles the intended item, say a sweater. The photo is then uploaded to the retailer’s website. If properly equipped, the website scans the photo, searches its inventory, and voila -- displays all similar products. The perfect match, as it were.
Nieman Marcus is among the various online retailers offering a photo-matching tool to shoppers. It’s called ‘Snap. Find. Shop’, a feature included with their mobile app. Photo-search isn’t limited to retailer sites, however. Many social media platforms, including Pinterest, make this option available to users. Expect the trend to continue.
Clearly, such visual search tools offer abundant opportunities to brand marketers. But graphic content alone isn’t enough. Text still has in important role to play in the art of visual searches. How can this be? Well, it all comes down to certain search bot behavior. You see, bots have a habit of being info hungry. Which means they’ll give a serious look at file names, as well as pictures.
Brand marketers have one obvious course of action -- name their image files to match their keywords. Invariably, this effort will cause a spike in SEO value. It also will provide needed assistance to less-perceptive bots. As it turns out, these info-gatherers don’t always recognize the content of images. So, they’ll grasp for other info sources -- an image filename being the most handy. Once helped, the bots will be more than appreciative, as you’ll soon see in the stellar search results.
If you have questions or comments about photo-matching tools for ecommerce sites, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.