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Visual Commerce Set to be Among the Big Social Commerce Trends of 2018

Visual Commerce Set to be Among the Big Social Commerce Trends of 2018

If 2017’s social commerce trends have been all about ‘shoppable content’, one of 2018’s major trends looks set to be ‘visual commerce’. Visenze, the Singapore-based artificial intelligence company that has established itself as the market leader in visual commerce has this week announced the expansion of its ‘Visual Commerce Platform’.
Ecommerce has always been ‘visual’ to the extent that photgraphic and video content is used to showcase items. However, ‘visual commerce’ adds an additional technology layer to maximise the leverage of visual content and drive sales.

Up until now, Visenze’s visual commerce technology has been used exclusively by ecommerce sites. Partners such as UNIQLO have already integrated Visenze’s technology on their ecommerce sites. A potential customer in a UNIQLO store can snap an item that catches their eye in the aisle. Visenze’s software then searches for items that match the image in the company’s online store as well as in offline, in-store stock.

Alternatively, by photographing an item being worn by a friend, family member or colleague and uploading it in a partner brand’s ecommerce store, the user is taken directly to the item’s listing. Similar items will also be highlighted and alternatives offered if a particular item is out of stock. An additional functionality that makes online retailers’ life easier is using the image recognition technology to add automatic tags to listed products. This is particularly useful for online commerce sites with large numbers of products that tagging manually would be hugely time consuming.

Visenze’s expanded visual commerce platform will allow the software to be integrated into a wide variety of applications, from instant messaging apps to smartphone cameras and social media platforms. Images exchanged in chats between friends, appearing in social media or elsewhere online or even pictures taken in the street will now be able to run through the software, either manually or automatically. Items from clothing to interior design elements and logos will then be paired with matching or similar items available for purchase.

The artificial intelligence and machine learning incorporated into the Visual Commerce Platform helps with the aggregation and categorisation of products based on visual qualities such as colour, shape, pattern and style.

Visenze currently has a catalogue of over 100 million different items, including many available on Amazon. The more flexible new functionalities mean smart phone manufacturers will be able to directly monetise social commerce trends. Photos taken by a smartphone could use the visual commerce principle to directly link the owner to buyable items that match or are similar to those in a picture. Built in affiliate tracking then means that the smartphone maker receives a commission if any purchase is subsequently made. A subtle snap of a handbag a user has spotted and liked could lead to a sale within minutes and a payday for smartphone maker.

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