As consumers become increasingly visual, retailers and brands are tasked with appealing to their quickly evolving preferences — especially within their digital properties. In that perspective, Forever 21 is the latest retailer to extend a visual search bar and web site navigation tools to its shoppers. Developed by Donde Search, the new feature will aim to resolve current pain points for its main shoppers who are heavily influenced by social media and accustomed to using the channels as a product discovery tool.
“Visual search technology bridges the gap between the convenience of online shopping and the rich discovery experience of traditional retail by enabling our customers to search for clothing in the same way they think about it — using visuals, not words,” said Alex Ok, president of Forever 21. “Early data shows that this is one of the most important innovations in the e-commerce space in recent years.”
According to research conducted by Donde, consumers will abandon an e-commerce site should a purchase require more than three clicks. Providing a visual search function will aim to reduce the number of steps to checkout at Forever 21.
“As e-commerce’s share of retail sales continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that retailers use a universal language that both shoppers and merchandisers can understand,” said Liat Zakay, chief executive officer and founder of Donde Search. “Our visual search and navigation solution helps innovative retailers like Forever 21 eliminate language issues and improve conversion rates, and transform the online shopping experience for its customers.”
According to a Forever 21 spokesman, shoppers on the e-commerce site will be able to search components they’re seeking in curating an outfit such as skirt length or neckline. Initially debuting in its app as “Discover Your Style” in May, the retailer saw an immediate boost in sales.
“In the first month after launching the feature, Forever 21 saw an increase in sales conversions and a 20 percent increase in average purchase value for the two test categories. This initial success led Forever 21 executives to fast-track the large-scale web integration of Donde Search’s technology, which uses AI, computer vision and natural language processing to provide shoppers with more relevant search results, so they can find the exact outfits they’re looking for,” the spokesman said.
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