New App Aims To Make Everyone A Storefront

Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer is testing a mobile-app feature that will let users snap a picture and then get recommendations for similar clothing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Berlin-based Zalando–which is reportedly preparing an imminent IPO–said it is testing the image-recognition technology in the German market. added an image-recognition capability to its shopping app earlier this year.

“The algorithm looks for color and pattern and bases suggestions on that,” Zalando spokesperson Carolin Kuhnel told the Journal, adding, “We want to see how our customers use the new feature: Will it be for an impulse buy or just for inspiration?”

The newspaper also ran some tests of the new feature, and found it worked “moderately well” to suggest shirts and jackets that resembled the original pictures. But it had less success matching jeans, where cut is a more important indicator than color. In those cases, the app appeared to throw up random suggestions.

Zalando wouldn’t say how many users are trying it or when it could spread to the 14 other countries where it does business. But executives said more than 40 percent of its ecommerce traffic comes through mobile devices.

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