nicolas leroy

TheFind introduces visual search

March 27, 2011

TheFind first demonstrated its teams were working on visual search back in 2009; but this experimentation never made it into its live product… until now. Announced on TheFind blog this week:

Starting today, when you shop for clothing, shoes, accessories and most home goods, you’ll have the ability to shop for visually similar items.  Take a look at this generic search for “gladiator sandals” on TheFind.  When you mouse over an item you have two options:  “Preview” or “Similar”.  Preview will show you details about the product, while Similar will take you to a page full of visually similar items.

In terms of user interface, the result page for visual search is pretty straightforward and efficient:

In terms of quality of results, I believe it really depends on the query and the kind of products – I had very good results and some weak ones. Visual search is still in beta, and we can expect the quality to improve in the coming months (i.e: it could be interesting to combine visual search with other search criteria like categories or brands).

Visual search at TheFind (Mar'11)

Back on the search result pages, it is to be noticed that the “similar” button doesn’t appear yet on all offers, even within offers from the same category. This is a bit disturbing and frustrating, but hopefully we can expect some improvements in the near future.

Search result page at TheFind (Mar'11)

To be noted that when displaying the full details of an offer, a small panel showing some visual search results is displayed outside the main window. A bit odd, but it does the job of “advertising” the new feature.

Offer display at TheFind (Mar'11)

Another small change in the search result page: for offers supporting the “compare prices” feature, the “similar” button is replaced by a “compare” button…

Offer display at TheFind (Mar'11)

Some thoughts to conclude: