How Samsung is giving brands the edge with fashion visual search

Samsung worked with artificial intelligence based visual search and image recognition outfit ViSenze.

As fashion on e-commerce platforms becomes increasingly competitive, visual search offers brands premium placement and could become an effective differentiator both for discovery and conversion, according to Samsung.

Christopher Tarr, the director of mobile customer experience and monetization at the South Korean electronics giant, says the act of taking a photo and actively searching for it shows high user intent.

“For brands, they know that people are likely to be more than curious about the result, possibly wanting to make a purchase,” he tells The Drum.

“This makes image-based search a valued marketing channel, and Bixby Vision Shopping is a compelling feature, and something we can combine with Samsung’s other digital and retail channels to extend partner brand reach to millions across the region.”

To promote the recent launch of new Galaxy Note10, Samsung teamed up with Zalora at its Fashion Festival to showcase how Bixby Vision Shopping can allow people to snap a picture and immediately search for a similar style directly through the camera app.

This gives consumers the choice to search across a variety of merchants giving them more choice and convenience.

Samsung worked with artificial intelligence based visual search and image recognition outfit ViSenze to implement a promotional framework that sat within its existing product and provided a look and feel that it felt its users would love.

To entice users to use the feature, Samsung offered a 20% discount to users who used Bixby Vision Shopping at the fashion festival.

“Originally, we sat down with ViSenze and brainstormed how we could collaborate with one or more top retailers to drive awareness and usage of Bixby Vision Shopping,” explains Tarr.

“The challenge was that we needed to create a promotion with partner brands that guaranteed people had a great experience using the new feature. When we approached Zalora to help promote the launch, we learned of the fashion show and instantly knew it would be a great opportunity to show Bixby Vision Shopping in a live environment in a way that is authentic and exciting to users.”

He adds: “As a technology company, Samsung is always about how we can take advantage of technology to better lives and enhance lifestyles. The collaboration with Zalora is an ideal platform for us to showcase how online shopping has evolved thanks to technology like Bixby Vision and how this opens doors for new ways of fashion shopping that are previously unimaginable.”

Tarr claims most of the participants, who are technology savvy, were clearly excited by the prospects that technology can bring to their shopping experience.

However, he admits the challenge was learning how to collaborate effectively as all parties were working together for the first time, so that Samsung could offer users something special.

“Arriving at the 20% discount was critical to the success of the campaign, ensuring customers found a good reason to discover the new feature for the first time,” Tarr explains.

“It was thanks to Visenze that we were able to effectively surface Zalora's clothes within the search results which helped drive value for the retailer.”

Tarr says Samsung and Visenze have since expanded the partnership after the fashion show to include pop up experiences and “other exciting things” that he declined to reveal.

Visual search is part of Samsung's intention to pivot the business to target “Gen Z”, as it remains wary of influencer marketing, as Samsung's global marketing boss Younghee Lee previously stated to The Drum.

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