Heels.com Launches Revolutionary Visual Search Technology to Improve Shopping Experience
(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CHARLOTTE, NC -- (Marketwired) -- 07/03/14 --
The age of the visual web is upon us as a leader in eCommerce innovation, Heels.com, today announced the addition of visual search to make shopping for the perfect shoe easier. Heels.com customers will now be able to take advantage of visual recognition technology to upload sample images and find exactly what they are looking for.
"It can often be difficult for shoppers to find the right words to describe the precise shoe they're looking for," said Eric McCoy, founder and CEO, Heels.com. "For example, shoppers might say they want a red heel, but with almost infinite shades, it's all subjective. We wanted to reduce that friction in the shopping process. Visual search helps them find exactly what they want faster than ever."
While many companies have text-based browse capabilities (provided by companies like Endeca), Heels.com is one of the first, if not the first, in the United States to launch visual search technology.
The Triumph of Visual CommunicationIn the era of selfies, pins, and emojiis, people are leaning more and more towards communicating visually rather than verbally. Heels.com has partnered with Iterate Studio to evolve its eCommerce strategy and remain cutting edge with online retail technologies. Both companies quickly recognized the need to incorporate image-based (via pixels) browsing and discovery as an important addition to Heels.com, as they believe text-based browsing will become a thing of the past.
"People think and behave using pictures," adds Brian Sathianathan, Head of Emerging Technologies for Iterate Studio, an Open Innovation company that works with retailers. "We want to help Heels.com bring that natural human behavior to web- and mobile-based shopping."
Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Author of Visual Literacy: Learn to See and See to Learn said, "...unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear... Therefore, it is not surprising that it is much easier to show a circle than describe it."
A Search Problem SolvedThere is no doubt that products can be difficult for shoppers to describe with words, yet easy to visualize. On Heels.com, a customer can now use visuals to describe exactly what they want to find. Their visual search engine analyzes the pixels in an image and then compares those pixels to other images. There are two components to the visual search technology which aid in the discovery of products.
The first piece is the 'Style Match Image Search,' which allows customers to upload a picture or enter an image URL, similar to Google's 'Search by Image' functionality. The customer is then presented with all of the products that look the similar to that image. Customers can find these sample images however they like, whether they snap their own picture or find some fabulous product through social media or fashion blogs.
Customers can also find products that look visually similar to the style they are currently viewing, using the "Sole Mates Search" tool. If a shoe they love is out of stock, with one click they will instantly be presented with shoes that look visually similar, from color to construction to height of the heel.
The Testing Methodology"We tested several types of visual search solutions and we were finally able to find one that worked," says McCoy. "As a result, today, we are going live with this revolutionary new technology."
Many new innovations are brought to Heels.com through a partnership with Iterate Studio, which discovers and curates emerging technologies from startups all over the world. "Making sure our retailer partners are first to market with technologies that help their customer acquisition and conversion is what Iterate Studio does," according to Sathianathan.
"Our relationship with Iterate Studio helps Heels.com to be a first mover on emerging technologies," said McCoy.
About Heels.comHeels.com launched internationally in October 2007. It was no easy task getting suppliers, but manufactures quickly took notice of this company's forward thinking attitude. Today Heels.com has over 160 brands including Jessica Simpson, Guess and Steve Madden along with new and upcoming vendors. From day one Heels.com provides a special shopping experience with user friendly navigation, free returns and pridefully being the first online retailer to deliver product videos for every style. The Heels.com team has a love for the most fashionable women's shoes, customer service and the simplicity of online shopping. For press inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Iterate StudioBased in Silicon Valley, Denver, and NYC, Iterate Studio is a digital proof-of-concept lab that discovers and curates emerging technologies, then implements proof-tests for an exclusive members-only group of non-competing retailers and, soon, media brands. Iterate reduces time, costs and risks associated with analyzing and deploying innovative start-up technologies. Iterate is run by CEOs, investors and product veterans from the retail and media verticals. For press inquiries please contact email@example.com, follow us on Twitter @IterateStudio or visit IterateStudio.com.
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Source: Iterate Studio
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