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Image Search Function Launched by M&S

11 February 2019 - 10:13 by Graham Miller

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Marks & Spencer has updated its e-commerce site to offer impressive new search capabilities focusing on picture-powered product-finding functionality, according to ComputerWeekly.com.

Image search is not a new concept, but it is still rarely used in the world of safe shopping online. Now the service arriving on the M&S site will make it simpler for customers to look up items without knowing the right name or keyword to use.

The appropriately titled Style Finder does not just offer the ability to find precise products by analysing images but will also make recommendations so that shoppers can find similar options that share distinct aesthetic cues with one another.

Company spokesperson Jim Cruickshank said that it was important to improve the experience that shoppers have when engaging with retailers via digital platforms. He explained that by taking many of the manual steps out of product searches via image recognition, it would be quicker and simpler for people to identify the items they desired, thus increasing conversion rates.

Image are having a bigger impact on e-commerce as a result of the rise of social media, with influencers sharing pictures which their followers may choose to use to inspire their own purchases. This means that being able to pinpoint particular products, or seek out similar looking items that are more affordable, is an attractive asset for a retailer to offer.

The technology underpinning the new M&S image search makes use of artificial intelligence to come up with accurate results and also improve over time, learning more about how best to match uploaded images with the products that are on offer.

More retailers are likely to adopt this approach going forward, especially as social media’s power is growing by the day and shopping through social channels is more common.