Asad Ali
July 6, 2017

The Importance of Visual Search In Your eCommerce Website

Visual Search

It’s a fact that our brains process visual images faster than textual information. This carries forward into Internet consumption, with users preferring to see content rather than read it. Fuad Ahmed, a web developer and designer, emphasizes the importance of visuals. He states that many surveys and studies prove that visual content is more intriguing and engaging for customers than any other form of content. From designing a website to selling a product online, it’s the visuals that carry the most importance for the visitors and work as a litmus test for the quality of the product.

When it comes to SEO and eCommerce, images, videos and graphics play a vital role in achieving the market targets. It’s the tendency of a human brain to process images 60,000 times faster than text. Further, the retention capability of a brain for visuals is more than it is for the text. It remembers and keeps visual information for a longer period of time over any other kind of information (barring smell). This ability of the brain also keeps it in congruence with any piece of information the reader receives later.

It has also been revealed by Google that visual content gets 94% more visitors. For the same reason, google updates the search option for visuals every year. This proves how important visuals are for the purpose of SEO.

Importance of Visuals for SEO in eCommerce

Visuals provide an ease to the consumers and E-Commerce retailers when they insert a specific inquiry in the search box. A variety of relevant images come up against an inquiry, making it easier for the customer to choose from among them. This also makes searching easier for customers who fail to explain their search in words. An image of the relevant object in a situation like this resolves the issue.

The purpose of visual search is to transform the way a product is searched online. An agency or retail store can hire a web designer to serve the purpose of a product’s online optimization. A designer will maximize the utility of a product by enhancing its features in the supporting images. One has to be very specific with the keywords when entering them in the search box. This goes down to the color of the image being searched.  This really helps both the consumers and retailers in obtaining their desired results.

Visual Search on Pinterest

Pinterest is the new source of online shopping. Many retailers now use it to display their products. This application also lets its users avail themselves of the built-in “buy” option for purchasing an item they like. It further lets its user have the choice of entering an image to search for a similar image. This particular option has proven to be of great help for both retailers and customers. When searching for an image, the user is directed to many similar images available in different price ranges. This makes the shopping experience both easier and more enjoyable. There are many benefits that visuals provide to their users over any other form of content.

Provides Advancement in On-site search

The technology that enables visual search is meant to help users search through images, even if they are short of verbal information to put in words. This helps customers search for their desired product and also opens all the similar products that they might like.

This mode also saves valuable time of the customers. They can avoid the hassle of scrolling down long lists of products. Instead, they can simply choose the required product from the available photos.

Direct Customer to the Website

In eCommerce, a problem that a retailer faces is not getting his customer to his website after viewing a product. There are two kinds of problems that occur with the retailer:

The first occurs when customers view a product on applications like Pinterest, without going to visit the homepage of the store. The 2nd takes place when a user fails to find the product he aims to find on the website. Therefore, it’s always recommended to keep similar items in the suggested column. Always give customers a buy option of some sort.

Is Visual Search going to be an alternate for Textual Search?

Visual images have a magnetic effect that increases the number of visitors to a website. Regardless of the importance of visuals, it can still be safely said that visual data does multiply the number of visitors. But it is not completely going to replace the need for text-based search. The keywords to search for an image are written in text. So, visuals are not going to be a substitute for text-based search. However, they are certainly a more powerful tool to attract the attention of an audience. As Fuad Ahmed states: “being a web developer, I have observed that it was the addition of images that grabbed the attention of visitors, over the search results based on text.”

Keeping in mind the fact that visuals are more attractive to sight than any other form of material, business owners and entrepreneurs must rely on images to cater to their visitors as it is more customer-friendly.

Any Comments?

Do you have any thoughts or experiences with visual search for eCommerce? Happy to hear anything from the perspective of either the marketer or customer. After all, we’re all customers sometimes!


Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘/ 123RF Stock Photo

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Asad Ali is a professional Internet marketer with an exposure of more than 7 years in eCommerce industry. He is currently working at GO-Gulf - a Dubai based web development company. His expertise includes SEO, UX and Conversion optimization.