Temple & Webster Launches Visual Search Tool

April Davis By April Davis | 03 Jul 2018

Temple & Webster is following in the footsteps of Australian fashion retailers like Cue and The ICONIC, by introducing its own visual search tool.

Temple & Webster has released a new visual search function on its website, which the company claims is the first of its kind for the furniture and homewares online sector.

According to Mark Coulter, the CEO of Temple & Webster, “a picture tells a thousand words”, making the company’s new visual search functionality a natural next step for the businesses e-commerce footprint.

“Buying furniture and homewares is an emotional decision, and imagery is key to unlocking that emotion. Image search is the next step in enabling us to deliver our vision of making the world more beautiful, one room at a time,” he said.

“Whether you’re out and about at a café or restaurant, flicking through your favourite magazine or scrolling through Instagram – by simply taking a photo of anything you like the look of, you can find something similar on Temple & Webster in just a few seconds. It’s actually pretty magical!”

Using the visual search tool is fairly straightforward. Consumers simply need to use the camera search button on the furniture and homeware retailer’s site, take a picture of an item they like the look of, and then browse through a catalogue of similar items.

The search function reportedly takes mere seconds to load, with the image being compared to 130,000 products in the Temple & Webster range, with only visually similar products being displayed.

AI search tool

Temple & Webster launches its new visual shopping tool.

Temple & Webster’s Chief Information Officer, Mike Henriques says the brand is proud to be the first Australian homewares and furniture retailer to launch this sort of AI technology.

“We’re constantly improving our shopping experience for our customers, whether that’s offering them a wider product selection or better ways to shop.

“We all know what we like when we see it. Now, when you see something you like, all you have to do is take a picture and we’ll match it to our range of products. It makes shopping an absolute breeze, it’s so much fun to play with,” he said.

Temple & Webster developed the new search functionality in collaboration with US-based AI experts, GrokStyle, with the feature utilising machine learning technology to quickly and accurately identify similar products. The technology used to develop the tool is also expected to improve over time, as it learns which products are most relevant to customers based on click-through patterns.

“With our visual search technology, Temple & Webster is helping shoppers connect their visual ideas to the right pieces in the store’s diverse range. Simply put, this collaboration makes it so much easier for people to achieve their dream home,” said Sean Bell, the Co-Founder and CEO of GrokStyle.

Temple & Webster is the latest in a long list of online retailers taking advantage of AI technology to improve online shopping experiences, as Amazon in the US, The ICONIC and Cue, all have similar functionalities for their fashion and accessory products.

Cue was the most recent Australian retailer to introduce this tech, with the company’s Chief Information Officer, Shane Lenton, announcing the new ‘Style Finder’ functionality last month, which was developed using Alibaba Tmall tech.

However, Cue has only launched Style Finder on mobile devices, while Temple & Webster have announced the release of its visual search tool for desktop, iOS and Android.

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