Have you had some wine and wondered how much the bottle of wine costs in the store? Have you ever had your eyes fixated on a beautiful bag and you were curious about the price and wanted to order it online? You can find out more about items you see around you via the use of visual search to find the item online and place an order. Visual search is currently one of the hottest trends in search marketing and will continue to grow rapidly. The visual search trend has mostly been adopted by the younger generations. See “Share of adults interested in visual search for online shopping in the United States in 2022, by age group” chart below:
In this blog, we will dive deeper into the world of visual search. According to Data Bridge Market Research, “global visual search market is expected to account for $33 million by 2028.” And according to Credible Marketers Analytics, “The Global Visual Search Market size was $6.669 million in 2019, and is projected to grow to a value of more than $28.470 million by 2027, with a growing CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of over 17% from 2022 to 2030.”
The growth is significant and cannot be ignored by digital marketers. Pinterest has become an early adopter of visual search. You can snap a photo with Pinterest’s Lens camera search, and then once the results show there is a Shop button available, it lets you shop directly from Pins. Smart!
This strategy makes Pinterest stand out from the competition. Google is also a player in the market with its Google Lens feature. To demonstrate the Google Lens, I took a visual search photograph of my Adidas sneaker. I am shown a selection of related products and visual matches. The experience is seamless, relevant, and user-friendly.
The above experiment a) enhanced my user experience, b) increased my engagement, c) showed me cross-selling opportunities, and d) it can increase sales, conversions, and profit for the seller.
The question is how you can implement this for your business. How can you optimize your product images for visual search? I will list some pointers that are vital to be competitive in the fast-growing visual search trend:
- Images need to be high-quality.
- Use descriptive titles.
- Add alt tags on every product image that you upload to your website. Alt tags need to be detailed and include the right keywords. This will require some keyword research. Focus on long-tail keywords since they are more specific and yield more qualified leads.
- If you can add an image description, you need to do so to improve your image ranking and visibility on the search engines.
- Take multiple photos of your product, e.g. different angles. This will improve the possibility for users to find your products on your website.
Text search will of course still be a heavy player, but visual search is growing fast and cannot be ignored. The user journey is a lot more complex nowadays and potential customers can begin their journey with text searches and then convert at the visual search stage.
To set your brand up for long-term success, it is important to understand the full journey funnel and capitalize on the various touchpoints. Smartphones have become increasingly sophisticated and in 2023, there are 312 million smartphone users in the U.S. (Source: Statista 2023). Being visual search ready will improve your conversions and increase your customer base. Want to learn more about how to utilize visual search in your paid media campaigns? Schedule a free strategy call with our team of digital advertising experts today.