When was the last time you successfully logged in to your favorite e-commerce website and found a pair of shoes that you liked? You are not alone; in fact, 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase once in their lives. Moreover, four in five netizens have shopped in last month alone. (Source: www.bigcommerce.com/blog/omni-channel-retail/)
And would this be possible if customers were not able to view the product that they intend to purchase? Probably not. In this blog, we will understand what image search is, why it is important for businesses, and then dive into Alibaba Cloud Image Search. Let us begin.
Organizations are always trying their best to ensure that customers have a pleasant user experience when they are visiting the business' website. This includes prompt website response time, detailed information, and relevant images. For an e-commerce website, the criticality and role of image search are even more significant. This is because the image displayed on the potential buyer's screen contributes to the buying decision-making.
When referring to Image Search Technology, organizations might be confused between the various types of Image Search Technologies available out there. Despite being very similar, they do have significant differences between them. Below are the types of Image Search Technologies and their brief description.
A pleasant online experience is a combination of images, content, and loading time. As I have mentioned above, for an e-commerce business, images play even an essential role in converting a website or application login to a sale. Below are the six ways in which Image Search Technology can help businesses.
Moving on, let us now look at how Alibaba Cloud contributes to Image Search Technology.
Images are more than pictorial representations for businesses. The uses of Image Search Technology, which I have listed in the preceding section, should by now, help you realize how it can help businesses enhance their brand image, revenue, and customer experience. Keeping these aspects in mind, Alibaba Cloud launched Image Search in February 2018.
Alibaba Cloud Image Search is an intelligent image service based on machine learning and deep learning. It integrates search and image recognition, allowing users to search through images across multiple industries and business scenarios. It aims to provide users identical or similar images.
Similar to several other Alibaba Cloud products, Alibaba Cloud Image Search comes with a number of advantages for users across businesses.
Currently, Alibaba Cloud Image Search applies to the following scenarios.
To enhance the experience of searching products online, Alibaba Cloud has integrated Image Search into the Taobao app, in the form of the Pailitao (snap and buy) feature. Since Pailitao's release in 2014, the number of unique daily visitors has been continuously increasing. This number grew from several hundred to more than ten million per day. The growth implies vast adoption of search by image feature for online shopping by users. Contrary to traditional keyword search, Pailitao requires only a simple photograph of the product, without any textual product description. This makes the procedure of online shopping convenient and enhances user experience.
Statista believes that there are 2.53 billion smartphone users today. By 2020, this number will reach 2.87 billion. This vast number have seen the emergence of photo sharing apps and mobile-based application for almost all brands. These websites and apps store billions of images and photos. However, their search support remains restricted to simple keywords. Image Search helps businesses utilize APIs to set up an image search engine that supports the search of billions of photos on an image basis. This will enhance the efficiency and user experience of the search option.
With the modern-day customer wanting more than ever before, image search technology is helping businesses provide a much-enhanced purchasing experience. Search queries performed through keyword inputs not only leave a room for accurate results but also is a complex way of completing accurate searches. With reverse image service, all that a user has to do is upload a link or a relevant image.
Alibaba Cloud Image Search is Alibaba Cloud's latest offering as part of its image searching solutions based on its Big Data services. It offers users with accurate results within a short span of time and is customizable as per individual business requirements.
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