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Shopping made simple

Shopping made simple

As a nation there is no doubt that we like to shop. With the emergence of online retailers offering us the ability to window shop around the clock our spending habits are changing as we embrace new, easier ways to feed our retail cravings.

Research found in the Great British Wardrobe Report 2017, commissioned by Ariel, shows that the average Brit spends £1,042 a year on clothes.

The findings also highlighted a mounting desire to be wearing new clothes in order to feel more confident, with 79% of women asserting that they are at their happiest and most confident when wearing a new garment.  With the younger generation even more sensitive to the feeling that new clothes can bring there is an argument that the death of ‘slow fashion’, which means to invest in a small number of high-quality clothes, is upon us.

‘Slow fashion’ has instead been replaced with fast moving, trend based fashion which relies on consumers buying on impulse. The growth of apps like Instagram has escalated this development, with the use of hashtags and key influencers promoting brands like never before. We are truly in a new age of online shopping.

Ecommerce giants ASOS have potentially unveiled a game changer this week in the way that we shop, making it easier than ever before to find the clothes we want with just the swipe of a finger. ASOS have already enjoyed global success, spearheading the move to online shopping and away from the high street with speedy delivery, plenty of choice, reliable sizing and tempting promotions.

In their latest iOS app update ASOS reveal their new image search option. As simple as it sounds the new function allows users to upload a screenshot or a real time camera shot of any garment of clothing and the app will search their database of 85,000 products to match you to what you’re looking for.

Analysis shows that at the moment almost 80% of ASOS’ UK traffic, and nearly 70% of sales come from a mobile, with the average user spending 80 minutes scrolling the ecommerce app per month. With what is an undoubtedly large stake in the digital industry ASOS are keen to continue developing ways to appeal to their key audience.

Digital product director Andy Berks commented "We know this (mobile devices) is where our customers are and it's how they interact with us every day, so we are always looking for ways that are mobile native to make their experience even better."

By keeping a keen eye on shoppers habits and buyer trends ASOS are leading the way. Berks added, "Our technology has always in the customer's service, not just for its own sake. Our latest tech, visual search, is a case in point. Inspiration can strike you anywhere and at any time – whether it’s a photo in a magazine, scrolling through an Instagram feed or even on a local street corner."

Whilst ASOS are not pioneering computer vision (eBay and Pinterest have already used similar technology) they are one of the first to bring it to a powerful consumer market that is constantly evolving with the influence of our dangerous consumerist culture.

ASOS have confirmed they have been working closely with an unnamed start-up in order to deliver the new feature. The start-up is one of many who have in the last 5 years been developing visual search engines. With a close eye on how visual searches can work with artificial intelligence to build up incredible amounts of consumer data, there is certainly a long road ahead for the new technology.

Having tested the new feature ourselves here at Global Property Scene (we were curious), we can confirm that it does work, and for those of us with a keen eye on current fashion and a desire to shop it is very convenient… maybe too convenient!

With the new service to be rolled out across Android soon we can all look forward to taking advantage of the new visual search option, which we are sure we will be seeing a lot more of in the future…

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