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Forever 21 brings AI powered visual search for e-shoppers

26
Aug '18
Courtesy: Forever 21
Courtesy: Forever 21
Independent fashion retailer Forever 21 is moving beyond text-based online search to offer shoppers artificial intelligence (AI) powered visual search and navigation developed by Donde Search, which provides SaaS solutions to e-commerce companies. Forever 21 will also leverage the technology for merchandising, recommendations and lifecycle marketing efforts.

Forever 21 shoppers will no longer be limited to searching for a new look online by typing fashion terms into a search bar. The visual search and navigation function enables shoppers to search for dresses, pants, shorts, jeans and tops, and will appear as a stand-alone ‘Discover Your Style’ module on the Forever 21 web and mobile web homepages. Shoppers can search items by clicking icons that represent the features they want in an outfit, ranging from the length and fit of a skirt to the neckline and colour of a shirt.

“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. We’re excited to partner with Donde Search and look forward to building on our early success to develop the world’s most intuitive omnichannel shopping experience.”

Donde Search launched its B2B platform in 2018 to help retailers solve product search and merchandising issues, as shoppers report that they will abandon an e-commerce site if they do not find what they are looking for within three clicks. Donde Search’s technology uses a proprietary algorithm that mimics the way shoppers think about products and provides more relevant recommendations and a better overall experience. The technology also helps retailers streamline and scale their global merchandising and categorisation efforts by removing local language barriers associated with text-based classifications.

“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, CEO & founder of Donde Search. “Our visual search and navigation solution helps innovative retailers like Forever 21 eliminate language issues and improve conversion rates, and we are thrilled to partner with the company as it transforms the online shopping experience for its customers.”

The search feature debuted as ‘Discover Your Style’ in the Forever 21 iOS app on May 18 and was initially available for the dresses and tops categories. In the first month after launching the feature, Forever 21 saw an increase in sales conversions and a 20 per cent 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 are looking for, said the company in a press release.

“Integrating Donde into our mobile app and web environments has been seamless and efficient,” Ok added. “Fundamentally changing how our customers search for products and interact with our brand is no small task, but our partnership with Donde has been everything we could have hoped for as we build out our visual search capabilities.” (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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