Harnessing Computer Vision for Ecommerce| Shipa Delivery
If, according to the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is an AI-generated image worth? For astute ecommerce entrepreneurs, the answer could be thousands of dollars.
According to a study by AI search and discovery company Visenze, at least 62 percent of millennials and Generation Z consumers say that more than any other technology, they want visual search capability. This, they told researchers, enables them to use their mobile devices to quickly identify products that inspire them, and to help them make purchasing decisions.
In other words, online shoppers want to see more product images and videos and fewer words—and they want these images and videos to be clear and detailed. In helping shoppers to realize these goals, computer vision technology is fast becoming an invaluable ecommerce tool.
What is Computer Vision?
Computer vision comprises algorithms and techniques enabling computers to gain high-level understanding from images or videos. Like other forms of AI, it aims to replicate human capabilities in performing and automating tasks based on visual data.
8 Examples of How Computer Vision is Changing Ecommerce
Visual merchandising is an important way to project your brand identity and enhance your customers’ experience.
Here are eight ways that computer vision can boost your online store’s visual merchandising, and thus improve your chances of converting browsers into buyers.
1. Visual Product Search
Instead of text-based queries, visual search in online shopping allows consumers to browse products by uploading pictures of the items they wish to purchase. The search capability of the computer vision algorithm then provides pictures of products most closely resembling the uploaded image, saving the shopper from scrolling through hundreds of images, for example, of couches or cabinets. In all probability, visual product search capability is currently an expensive luxury for smaller online businesses. But, in time, the facility that has powered searches on Amazon, eBay, and Pinterest, among many other large enterprises, for several years, will become a must-have ecommerce feature.
2. Enhanced Product Recommendations
By analyzing user behavior and preferences through visual data, the computer vision algorithm suggests products that match customers' tastes and preferences. This gives them an enjoyable personalized online shopping experience, boosting the chances of converting them into buyers and repeat customers. 3. Improved Product Information Computer vision can instantly extract information from product images to display details such as color options, sizes, styles, and brands—but only to customers seeking such information. Meanwhile, those who are merely browsing the pictures on a site are not confronted with large chunks of information on products they have no intention of buying.
4. Content Moderation
It happens all the time. Trolls post inappropriate pictures and/or comments on companies’ social media posts, which a moderator in the organization is tasked with deleting.
Left unchecked, spammy or inappropriate content can quickly damage a business’s reputation.
Computer vision can automatically detect such content and immediately flag it for the human moderator to analyze.
It can also detect and flag sensitive or personal information that has been inadvertently uploaded by customers to the public domain, thus providing an important layer of protection for users’ privacy.
With computer vision continually scanning content, the human moderator’s workload is significantly lessened, supporting the pursuit of more lucrative business goals.
5. Virtual Try-on Technology
Perhaps you have tried the Ikea app, which allows you to visualize how, for example, a couch you are interested in buying looks in your living room? You can’t help but be impressed. That’s computer vision at its flashiest.
Online enterprises are increasingly using visual search technology to allow users to shop more interactively, enabling them, for instance, to try on virtual clothing and accessories before buying.
Most virtual try-on apps allow consumers to satisfy their tastes in hair color, lipstick shades, jewelry, sunglasses, leatherwear, and footwear.
At a more complex level, however, augmented reality software lets online shoppers try on the latest fashion designs, such as those from brands such as Burberry, Chanel, Prada, and Gucci.
For more information about how virtual try-on technology works, read our blog post about retail fashion and luxury delivery in the GCC.
6. Streamlined Operations and Logistics
Computer vision gives a significant boost to inventory management by automating stock counting, ensuring accurate tracking, and identifying misplaced items. Visual search also helps optimize warehouse operations by identifying and locating specific items within seconds, thereby improving picking accuracy and speed.
7. Image Retouching
Clear, sharply focused, bright images are vital for ecommerce business success. If your website is littered with blurry, poor-quality images, shoppers will quickly navigate elsewhere.
Computer vision can retouch images to improve visual appeal. Image retouching algorithms can be trained to identify imperfections in a photograph, such as wrinkles, shadows, blemishes, soft focus, and poor lighting.
On identifying these shortcomings, computer vision technology will automatically retouch an image to increase its quality. The process involves tasks like noise reduction, image normalization, and resizing.
8. Fraud Prevention and Security
Thanks to its ability to analyze patterns and anomalies in visual data and identify potentially fraudulent activities like account misuse or payment fraud, computer vision is fast securing its status as an essential fraud prevention aid.
Although still in an early developmental stage, computer vision will, in time, be widely used to verify users' identities through facial recognition or biometric authentication to secure transactions on ecommerce platforms.
The Future of Computer Vision
Due to the growing popularity of smart camera-based systems, the global computer vision market is expected to be valued at $29.19 billion (USD) by 2030, up from $12.98 billion in 2022. That represents a CAGR of 8.32 percent from 2023 to 2030.
Such lucrative growth projections can only mean one thing: forecasters believe that retail and ecommerce enterprises will invest heavily in computer vision technology in the coming years.
With benefits such as customer experience enhancement, operations optimization, sales performance improvement, and risk mitigation, it should be a safe bet that savvy online retailers will exploit visual search capacity to boost business success, while those hesitant to do so could ultimately find themselves out of the picture entirely.
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