Skip to main content

British online fashion giant steps up product searches


ASOS is streamlining how its mobile shoppers search for merchandise.

The largest online fashion retailer in the U.K. is adding a visual search feature to its iOS-based mobile app. (It will be rolled out to their Android app “soon,” according to TechCrunch).

By clicking on the app’s new camera icon in the search box, customers can either upload a photo saved on their camera roll, or snap a new picture. Algorithms search ASOS’ offering, and present items that are similar to the picture. The retailer features 85,000 searchable products, TechCrunch said.

The feature is available for U.K. users, as well as in some areas of Asia, according to Engadget.

The feature is a natural fit for the apparel retailer, as 80% of ASOS’ U.K. traffic already stems from mobile devices. Meanwhile, almost 70% of its U.K.-based orders are placed on mobile devices. On average, consumers spend 80 minutes per month in the app, TechCrunch said.

ASOS joins a growing list of companies that are stepping up their visual search game. Last month, eBay added two new solutions that rely on pictures instead of words to help customers search its online offering of 1.1 billion items. The tools are supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Wayfair recently launched its own AI-based “Search with Photo” service to make it easier for shoppers to find their desired furnishings.

These introductions came on the heels of Google incorporating visual search into its offering. Pinterest also features a visual search tool that enables pinners to save images found online and use them as a jump-off point for discovering similar ideas on the social media site.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds