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Why is Visual Search So Important for Marketers in 2021 by Ben Givon

Visual search has been growing for some time now. You know from your own experience just from a user viewpoint that Google, Yahoo and other popular search engines have been offering this feature for years now. But visual search marketing wasn’t on marketing radars that much until recently, when it took over the industry.

Let’s go for some basics first – explaining what is visual search, and why it’s one of the biggest trends in 2021.

Visual Search

Visual search utilizes artificial intelligence in order to find images that resemble the one that you search for. When you do a visual search, you are using a shorter way to, for example, look for a product that you find important. This is, you’ll agree, a quicker way than typing multiple keywords.

The New Generations Prefer It

Think about the ways the new generation uses the internet. Gen Z is all about TikTok, as we know. Sure, they use it not just for fun, but for important activist causes, too, but the point is that they are using a medium that relies much more on the visual than on text. Textual content is much more prominent on places like Facebook, which are falling out of fashion in more ways than one.

And don’t forget the emojis – people of all generations are flocking more to these visual representations of our emotions than on text.

It’s not just Generation Z – Millennials are also quicker to choose visual search options than the generations before them. These two generations are becoming more drawn to visual search than any other new tech feature being put out there. According to recent stats, 62 percent of Millenials want to be able to search desired products online these ways. When you count in the fact that Gen Z accounts for 44 billion dollars in purchasing power, it is clear that you should, as a marketer, look closely at these generational trends that are shaping the world.

Pinterest Paving the Way Further?

When the wildly popular visual mood board Pinterest introduced the feature Lens. a pioneering camera search that shows similar things to the ones you see around you, visual search skyrocketed. This was in 2017. The Lens feature can now spot more than 2.5 billion home and fashion objects. Moreover, Lens helped and assisted in searching more than half a billion times. This is a jump of 140%, both over the application and their desktop version of Pinterest.

Healthy Rivalry Never Hurt Anybody

Naturally, Pinterest nudged other big-name tech corporations to do something similar. Google, a company that offered the visual search option before, now introduced its own application aimed at visual search. Not far along them trailed Snapchat, with its own software for visual searches. They have been diligently testing it since 2018. One thing is for sure – it is the competition among these companies that is further pushing the development of visual search.

Inspiring New Frontiers

Another thing that popped up recently is visual mapping. This feature uses the same tech as visual search, but combines it with augmented reality. Google Live-View was a pioneer in this, utilizing the overlay of three-dimensional walking directions on mobile phones which then lets you see where you are at that moment on the street. When the company did this, they did exactly what we’ve mentioned – mixed up visual searching with augmented reality tech. This paved way for users to get details on their current location as they walk along.

All in all, visual search marketing is a budding new field that is on par with the wishes and routines of younger generations. That’s why it’s totally normal that we’re seeing more firms introducing visual search-based features into their marketing strategies. So if you’re a digital marketer, watch this space closely and bear in mind that visual search marketing can be a huge opportunity for e-commerce enterprises and can allow them to increase their profit.

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