How Image Search is Impacting Online Shopping Behavior

In October Ebay launched it’s AI-powered image search tools. Leveraging advances in two core parts of artificial intelligence, computer vision and deep learning, Ebay created it new digital search tools to make it easier for its consumers to find and buy the things that inspire them. Consumers simply take a snap of something they would like to buy, upload it onto the eBay app, and eBay will generate similar, like or exact product listings of that item.

“With Image Search, which we launched this fall, the entire internet is shoppable from your mobile device,” according to the company. Ebay says it’s been keeping a close eye on the ways Image Search is transforming shopping on eBay.

So what are people searching for when they can just use a picture and not words? Ebay took a look at data from the peak holiday shopping days, Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Top Items Searched

Fashion items were the top searches using Image Search. Trendy sneakers, women’s strappy sandals and women’s boots were most in demand. Ebay also saw a lot of jewellery searches, including searches for diamond rings and hard-to-describe statement necklaces.

  1. Comparison Shopping

Is that price really the best deal? Consumers were keen on using image search while shopping in traditional retail stores on Black Friday and beyond, using the feature to quickly compare store prices with those of items for sale on Ebay. Shoppers using image search were also twice as likely to take a photo in the app than to upload a photo from their camera roll or photo library.

  1. Using Screenshots to Image Search

In addition to searching with new photos taken specifically for image search, Ebay saw people uploading screenshots to identify items from blogs and other places across the web. With deals in abundance, using inspiration from a fashion or lifestyle blog as well as other online retailers to compare pricing seemed to be key.

  1. Saturday the Highest Day for Image Searches

On the Saturday of Cyber 5 Weekend (or Small Business Saturday), Ebay saw the highest volume of image searches. With shoppers on the go over the holiday weekend, image search helped them find must-buys on the e-commerce marketplace. iOS was the most popular platform for using Image Search.

Whether it’s checking to see if that holiday deal really is a great one or finding that pair of shoes featured on your favourite blog, according to Ebay’s data finding, online shoppers seem to be using image search to take inspirations from around the world and the web and find what they love.

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