Forever 21 Unveils Visual Search For eCommerce

Forever 21

Moving beyond text-based online search for its customers, Forever 21 has unveiled visual search for its website and mobile eCommerce platforms. The technology, which is powered by artificial intelligence, was developed by Donde Search, the retailer said in an announcement.

“Visual search technology bridges the gap between the convenience of online shopping and the rich discovery experience of traditional retail by enabling our customers to search for clothing in the same way they think about it — using visuals, not words,” Forever 21 President Alex Ok said in the announcement. “Early data shows that this is one of the most important innovations in the eCommerce space in recent years.”

To search for items such as dresses, pants and jeans, customers can access a “Discover Your Style” module on the retailer’s web and mobile web sites. The feature was rolled out through the retailer’s iOS app in May and was first available for tops and dresses. During the first month that the app was available, the company reported a 20 percent increase in average purchase value for those two categories as well as an increase in sales conversions.

The news comes as H&M has given its mobile app and eCommerce site a digital makeover, bringing a myriad of new features to online customers such as visual search. The upgraded platforms now let shoppers search for an item by using an image, Chain Store Age reported.

Visual search allows shoppers to upload a photo, and the platforms use that photo to search for relevant items. In addition, shoppers can find products by scanning their price tags, allowing them to check size and color options.

Beyond search features, the upgraded platforms enable shoppers to review products that they purchased online — they can rate an item on a five-star scale and provide feedback on the fit and size. H&M was also rolling out a voice-activated mirror in its flagship New York City location. The device offers style recommendations, selfies and a route to eCommerce, Forbes reported in June.




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