Amazon.com this morning announced fresh visual search capability in its men’s and women’s shoe stores. Basically, the feature allows Amazon customers to search and browse for shoes based on how they look (example).
The styles are presented graphically as silhouettes within the existing navigation of search refinement, allowing customers to easily handpick shoe shapes from a pre-defined palette without the need to know what the styles are called.
Amazon says the capability is driven by its proprietary visual search technology, which is able to analyze product images for shape, color and appearance information and classifies similar looking products together. The algorithms were developed at Amazon subsidiary A9.com.
It’s the same technology that powers the “Items That Look Like This” feature that you can find on Amazon.com product detail pages (example).
Visual search technology is increasingly finding its way to ecommerce sites in innovative ways. Google acquired visual search engine company Like.com and earlier this week debuted Boutiques.com, a fashion-focused shopping site that relies heavily on the company’s core visual search technology.