Study: This type of search is growing in popularity

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Study: This type of search is growing in popularity

By Dan Berthiaume - 02/05/2019
Seeing just may be believing for an increasing number of consumers.

According to a new study from marketing agency Performics and Northwestern University, visual search has become a preferred option to obtain information for many consumers. Visual search includes taking photos with a mobile device camera while image recognition software delivers search results in the form of similar items, as well as enabling customers to select features by using icons or photos to deliver more precise search results. It also encompasses allowing consumers search via photos rather than text listings.

Notable study findings include:
• 36% of respondents have performed or used visual search, the same rate as voice search.

• 59% think visual information is more important than textual information across categories.

• When shopping online for clothing or furniture, more than 85% of respondents respectively put more importance on visual information than text information.

• Overall, visual information is preferred over text by at least 50% of respondents in all categories except for electronics, household goods and wine and spirits.

However, the study shows consumers have trust issues with visual search. One-quarter (24%) of respondents report a growing distrust in what they see online due to the impression that promoted products show up first in visual search results, even when those products aren’t the best match for the search query. Roughly 16% of respondents believe visual search returns are created by paid social media influencers and 15% think they are created by brands and therefore biased.