WeSEE reveals that three-quarter (74%) of UK consumers say that traditional text-based keyword queries are inefficient in helping them find the right items online, with 15% of these shoppers saying they regularly encounter trouble finding what they’re looking for using keyword searches. Considering that 73% of people shop online by entering a search term into a search engine, retailers that rely on solely keyword search miss out on significant business.
While search is currently one of the dominant methods for online shopping, many are starting to prefer a more personalised experience when shopping online. In fact, 40% of shoppers would like their online shopping experience to be more visual, image-based and intuitive: one in four say they would like items suggested based on websites they’ve historically visited, 16% said they’d like product recommendations based on images they’ve shared, liked or uploaded whilst 12% would like to be able to buy items that they see on social networks without navigating away from the page.
The Visual Generation
The research reveals that shoppers aged 18-34 make up a new visual generation for whom images regularly inspire purchases. 40% of under 35s say they have used their mobile device to take a picture of a specific item on the high street to buy once they get home, whereas only 30% take pictures to inspire shopping at a later date.
These visual shoppers are interested in the latest shopping technologies – three-quarters of 18-34 year-olds would like more visual technologies incorporated into online and mobile shopping. 45% under 35s say they would like to be able to take a picture of an item with their mobile and be linked directly to a site to but it.
One in three (32%) would like to be able to upload a picture and be shown similar items, and a third (33%) of this demographic would like to be able to know where to buy high street versions of celeb outfits seen in images online. The shape and style of an item – rather than its text-based description – is a key consideration, with two-thirds (65%) of consumers rating it ‘important’ or ‘critically important’ in finding the right item.