Are Visual Components The Future Of E-Commerce?

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  • on March 14, 2019

The retail industry is exploring new digital components more than ever, as digital transformation continues to make a large impact in how retailers conduct strategies, reach customers and create engaging in-store and online experiences.

Visual components are among the tools that retailers are beginning to explore. This comes as no surprise, considering social media has made such a large impact on consumers and relies so heavily on visual aids.

“As consumers have become more comfortable with images, and technology better at interpreting them, images have become more central in e-commerce,” said eMarketer analyst Yory Wurmser, author of a new report on the subject.” Emarketer reports.

Why Do Consumers Like Visual Aids?

The reasons consumers appreciate visual aids during the shopping experience relates to the fact that it creates a more personalized experience for shoppers, which is one of the main priorities while making decisions about brands.

Visual commerce has proven to be valuable for retailers while targeting an audience.

“Most consumers prefer to see at least a couple images of a product before buying it, according to Salsify’s September 2016 survey of US digital buyers. Nearly three in five respondents said they prefer to see three to four images, and only 1% said they prefer not to see any photos.” Emarketer reports. 

We have seen visual searches appear in many different e-commerce sites, like Amazon, Pinterest, and Wayfair, which have proven to be successful. Now, eBay is rolling out new features on its site that involves visual components.

The two visual search tools that eBay will be launching allows online shoppers to incorporate photos found through Snapchat, their camera roll, the web or any social networking site. The customers can use those photos in order to search, and match, the products found on eBay. This creates a whole new shopping experience for the customer, allowing them to engage and reach personalized levels of buying.

eBay will now be in charge of matching items that appear to be a match for the customer, depending on the listings that are offered in their catalog. Not only does this create a personalized shopping experience, it allows for a quick search and transaction experience.

In order for this to work, eBay will use digital transformation tools found through artificial intelligence like deep learning and computer vision, using a deep learning model in order to process the images.

“eBay is at a technological advantage due to the rich set of user-generated images and item data we’ve accumulated through the years,” Mohan Patt, VP of eBay’s Buyer Experience, said in July. “By applying machine learning technology, eBay can deliver a fast and reliable shopping experience backed by one of the world’s largest commerce data sets,” TechCrunch reports.

The Future Of Retail

These new features prove that the retail industry is moving towards digital components in order to create the ultimate customer experience for consumers. It allows for customers to match their wants to reality, which could result in positive feedback among eBay’s audience. (We will keep you updated on the feedback these features receive.) 

So, we propose a question: are visual components the future of retail? Well, if you were to answer from eBay’s point of view, the answer would be yes. Combining different levels of technology to create a seamless customer experience involving visual recognition and images, can be the step in the direction of the future.

Until then, we will have to sit back and try out the features for ourselves.

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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!

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