Fashion Retail Tech: Visual Search 2017

Trends come and go in fashion, and change is a fact of life. One thing that seem set to permanently change the face of online fashion is the rise of visual content and the emergence of “search by image” platforms.

Visual Search technology is used by high-profile retailers including Farfetch, Inditex, Rakuten, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Asos and many many others. Style Intelligence has released its 2017 market report assessing the marketplace today.

Approximately 96 per cent of fashion brands in the United States have an Instagram presence. Visual content obviously dominates the fashion space with tens of millions of photos posted daily; meanwhile, the majority of the best-performing posts on Instagram include product photos.

Its well known that Instagram users are 60 per cent more likely to purchase products versus other social networks.  That makes it clear that images have the potential to drive more sales, plain and simple. Having a social presence and visual content isn’t enough however. Without a robust way to connect a customer’s social media inspiration to products the direct link between customers and products is lost. It could be said that we’re moving away from traditional storefronts and towards a socially integrated marketplace. But  how do today’s brands achieve that transition.

Developments in Deep Learning technology have pushed a generation shift in core technology for visual search and online recommendations.   Continued development of Deep Learning technologies could lead to a massive disruptive shift in fashion retail technology. There are already signs of consolidation of numerous SaaS services such as Fit, Personalisation, Recommendations, Big Data and Shop the Look.

Four or five companies currently dominate the space and despite efforts by digital leaders such as Google and Pinterest, it’s the specialists who are leading the pack and new use cases with potentially huge impact on fashion supply chains are also emerging.

Suppliers mentioned in this report: Malong, Secret Sauce Partners, Artifacia, Catchoom, Clarifai, Cortexica, Fashwell, IBM Watson, Omnious, Picalike, Sentient Technologies, Slyce, Streamoid, ViSenze, Wide Eyes. We have also covered Amazon, Pinterest, Trax Retail, Alibaba, and Google.

If you want to find out more download a FREE 7-page executive summary of the Visual Search market, dynamics and suppliers including supplier profiles.