You may not be aware of it, but you’ve been using visual search here and there for a long time. When you go to Google, and you switch to Image Search tab, you are doing a visual search. When you use Pinterest Lens to get some inspiration from the objects around you, you are doing a visual search.  Visual search is considered as an emerging trend in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

According to a study, 62% of their respondents, mostly Generation Z and Millennials, prefer visual search capabilities more than any other new technology. If your target audience belongs to these demographics, then visual search should be part of your digital marketing strategy.

What Is Visual Search?

What makes visual search different from traditional search is very obvious. In traditional search, you use keywords to search for the information you need, while in visual search, you use an image to get information about something.

Visual search is specifically very useful on platforms such as Pinterest, Google, and e-commerce websites, where imagery plays a vital role in prodding consumers to take action.

Just imagine a prospect wanting to buy a new pair of shoes that are the exact same as the ones that don’t fit anymore. With visual search, he or she can just take a snap of the old shoes, do a visual search at an e-commerce site and voila! Then they can get a very specific list of shoes that are the same as the old ones complete with prices and any other important information.

Types of Visual Search

These are actually the three most popular types of visual search. Without knowing it, you may have already encountered all of them.

Image Meta Search

You’ve been doing this kind of visual search if you are a regular user of Google Search. When you switch to Image Search tab, and enter a set of keywords to look for images on Google, you are doing Image Meta Search. This can also be seen in popular image databases such as Pixabay, Pexels, Public Domain Pictures and the likes.

Reverse Image Search

Sometimes, you are curious if the image you are about to use has no copyright problems. In this case, you can use Reverse Image Search to check what other places that specific image is also used. This kind of visual search can also help you check if the image you own is being used by other websites without your approval.

Unlike Image Meta Search, Reverse Image Search uses an image to search for the exact and related images.

You can instantly do Reverse Image Search via Google Search by clicking the Image Search tab, and then click the camera icon at the upper right side of the search field.

 “Snap and Search”

This is probably the most innovative among the three types of searches. This kind of visual search is extremely beneficial for online shoppers and people who are looking for inspiration on the internet.

A few good examples of Snap and Search are Pinterest Lens, Google Lens, and the types used on online shopping websites such as Amazon, Target, and Neiman Marcus.

In Snap and Search, a user can take a photo of any objects around and it will be scanned by the application, and then the relevant information will be returned in the form of images or texts.

How Can Visual Search Help Your Business

So far, visual search has proven effective in e-commerce businesses, specifically those in the fashion industry and on social platforms that focus on providing inspiration to their users or to help them in their buying decision process.

In e-commerce websites, visual search is helpful in cross-selling products. A potential buyer may end up buying the products you displayed because they have some similarities to what they originally intended to buy. The power of suggestion cannot be ignored when it comes to indirectly convincing buyers to buy more.

Visual search can also influence the buying decision process of your target audience by leveraging the things that inspire them. Just take Pinterest for example. A lot of people go there to look for things that they want to buy. They may not buy them immediately but are likely planning to do it soon or in the future.

With visual search, you can create visual content that can help your target audience see the real value of your product. You can do this by regularly providing relevant information that can prod them to make a well-informed buying decision. And, your goal shouldn’t end once they buy your product, you must make sure they become loyal to your brand, and be part of your pool of repeat customers.

Want to learn more about visual search and search engine optimization? KISS PR CEO, Qamar Zaman, and his team of SEO experts provide private digital marketing and SEO training in Dallas. This training can help you learn practical strategies that you can apply in your business right away. Get the training here, or you may call KISS PR at 972-437-8942.