Visual search is the process of searching the internet by uploading images instead of using images instead of text or speech. In this way, images become a means to find content in the main search engines, such as Google Images or Bing.
A priori it may be strange, but visual searchers are so natural that we are not even aware that we are using it. In our day to day we are looking for similarities, identifying objects and looking for relationships between them constantly.
How it works
Visual search takes advantage of both artificial intelligence, through algorithms, and Machine Learning to perform an analysis through the image or photograph. The process they perform is to identify the elements that appear in the photograph and in this way, and thanks to the algorithms, you can differentiate the elements that are part of the image such as size, shape or color and compare them with the images you have indexed in your database. From this, you can offer the results that most closely resemble the image that has been searched.
To begin the process, the user must select both an image and a photograph or a screenshot that is on both their computer and mobile device. The search engine will have to analyze and compare the images it has indexed and will provide the content related to it. The results that the search engine will dump will not only be visual but will also be from websites, internet information, images and related videos.
Visual Search Tools
Due to the progress that is taking place in visual search, it is increasingly normal for new visual search tools to be launched. Some of the applications are as follows:
- Google Lens: Google as the search engine par excellence also bets on being a visual search engine. It aims for users to just have to press an icon or take a screenshot to get certain information. Google Lens is, therefore, an app that is intended for image search. In this way it will become a very powerful tool for virtual stores.
- Pinterest Lens. Pinterest has always been a visual social network par excellence, based on images and photos. Therefore, it also has its own visual search. What the tool does is search for images, within its database, that are related to the one the person is looking for.
- Bing Visual Search. Microsoft, through Bing, has also opted for image search. The process is similar to everything mentioned above, it is to use images that have been taken by the webcam, upload images, use URLs of an image or even looking for a text but receiving images as a response.
Advantages of Visual Search
The advantages of Visual Search are as follows:
- It favors to accelerate the purchase process. It becomes a tool that allows to accelerate the purchase processes since it is much faster for users to perform searches. That is why it begins to be taken into account by companies and digital marketing. One of the sectors that is taking advantage of visual search is online sales.
- It offers a better experience to users. The user experience becomes much simpler as it simplifies the search process. That the user can perform a scan through images is much shorter and simpler, in addition to offering greater satisfaction.
- Attract potential audiences. Pinterest has shown that searches through images have had a great acceptance and attract a large potential audience. Since its launch, the tool managed to attract millions of users.
- Possibility of cross-selling. It favors cross-selling, offering users products that are related to the product they want. For example, if the user is looking for a vinyl you can offer a turntable so you can listen to it.
- Increase conversations. It facilitates the purchase processes and improves the user experience, which results in increasing conversions and with it the benefits for e-commerce.