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Visual Search Sparks Excitement Among Consumers

Chatbots? Not so much

There’s a lot of enthusiasm around retail and tech, particularly visual search. But while visual search is not mainstream yet, more than half of US internet users said they were most excited about using it as part of their shopping experience, according to a November 2019 survey conducted by ViSenze.

Visual search technology enables consumers to snap a picture of something they’re eyeing and let a visual search engine direct them to a product page, which is helpful in situations where an item has piqued someone’s interest, but there’s a lack of information as to where to buy it.

Shoppable content—think Instagram and Pinterest—was another technology many were excited about, with 43% of respondents from the ViSenze survey agreeing. Just one-fifth cited augmented reality (AR) and even fewer (7%) said they were most excited about chatbots.

While ViSenze powers visual commerce at scale for retailers and publishers—so it may not be surprising that visual search was a top response—the technology is poised for mainstream adoption.

According to data from Bizrate Insights, 12% of US consumers have tried it. And more than half (53%) said that they have not used the technology, but are interested in trying it.

"Visual search fulfills a use case that not many other consumer search options address very well: the problem of finding something you saw in real life on a digital channel," said Nicole Perrin, principal analyst at eMarketer. "A picture really is worth a thousand words in this circumstance, and consumers readily understand that. These same situations also often involve purchase intent on the part of the consumer, meaning visual searches are also especially attractive to marketers."