Visual search is considered as an emerging development in the world of machine learning and artificial intelligence which has the potential to reform how consumers buy and find products. By streamlining the method of search, organizations can move closer to the instant gratification that most customers demand.
Currently, the visual search engines are witnessing significant demand due to its increasing applications in retail and e-commerce sectors. This is mainly due to the capabilities of visual search which identifies an image accurately using advanced machine learning and AI technology. With help of studies, it is observed that 62% of millennials desire the ability to visually search over any other novel technology and the likes of Google, Pinterest, Amazon and Google have already developed substantial capabilities in this field.
Companies’ huge investments, joint venture and partnerships activities in this market lead to the exchange of methodologies and technology for new developments of these visual search engines which is likely to boost the global visual search market. Some of the prominent key players operating the visual search technology market are Google (U.S.), Slyce (Canada), Clarifai (U.S.), Veritone (U.S.), ViSenze (Singapore), Ever AI (U.S.). In 2016, USD 30 Billion investment in the technology has been experienced, with more than 90% on the R&D activities and remaining 10% on the merger and acquisition activities. Moreover, seed investment, venture capital investment and private equity financing also grew substantial amounting to a total of over USD 6 Billion.
Many research and development activities to increase the efficiency of visual search machines are being undertaken which is enhancing the market growth. The integration of machine learning with visual search engines has improved the image processing drastically. The investment in the technology is growing rapidly, dominated by the tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, AWS, IBM, and Baidu.
The development of the deep learning algorithms and machine learning and technological advancement are also major driving factor for the AI in retail market. Machine learning is projected to propel in AI in retail market at 42% CAGR. The growth is also driven by higher adoption of technology by the retailers to offer improved customer experience and provide personalized shopping experience to the customer.
“The future of search will be about pictures rather than keywords,” stated Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann. And with so much brand and weight behind it,
And with so much consumer and brand weight behind it, it’s no surprise that visual search promises to be a breakout trend of 2019.
The accuracy of visual search has improved as image recognition tools have access to big training sets of images, and visual search engines learn about the implicit questions users ask when submitting images. This has created a virtuous cycle, where more people use visual search, which in turn creates more accurate visual search tools.
Integration with chatbots: Visual search starts a conversation; a fact some retailers are exploiting to integrate a chatbot into the shopping experience. Inc. Big retailers are on board: Target has been using Pinterest Lens for the past year. WSJ Pinterest is combining visual search with text search, which should increase its reach. Visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have a natural tie-in with visual search, if they can make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible. Brands (notably, Mastercard) are dropping text from their images altogether in favor of a design-driven expression of their identity.
Fast-fashion brands are competing against each other for online marketshare, and visual search offers a way to gain ground. Today, Forever 21 begins offering “Discover Your Style” on its web and mobile homepages through a partnership with visual search engine Donde Search. A shopper can click on icons representing features they want in apparel, specifying factors such as silhouette and color, to see corresponding results in Forever 21’s inventory. This is an expansion of a pilot of the technology launched on the retailer’s mobile app in May, which was so successful at increasing conversions and average purchase value that the company decided to “fast track” its large-scale web integration.
Application of visual search technology includes baggage scanning, security screening, electronic component manufacturing, navigation systems and in retail for jewelry and clothing. Since past few years, the market had witnessed a huge growth in varied end-users mainly aviation, automotive OEMs, e-commerce, electronics, forestry and many more. Currently, e-commerce dominates other all end-users segment and is anticipated to remain the same in the forthcoming years. Growing rate of investments in visual search technology coupled with higher adoption of visual search engines is projected to propel the visual search market.
Mobile visual search has gained high popularity in APAC, especially in Japan, China and South Korea where it is used in online fashion stores. Not only this, visual search engines are also used as tools for mapping, concept generation and outlining. Top global visual search providers are slowly and steadily announcing their products in the emerging countries of Asia like Indonesia and India due to their enormous market potential.