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Fashion Shoppers Use eBay Image Search at Stores

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eBay logoeBay said fashion was the most popular category for shoppers using its new image search feature during the holiday season. Because shoppers were twice as likely to take a photo in the app than to upload a photo from their camera roll or photo library when using Image Search, eBay presumes they were using the feature while shopping in traditional retail stores; they also used screenshots from other websites, it said.

Press release follows:

Inspiration for the perfect gift can sneak up on you at any time, whether it’s that red dress you see at a party or that chair in your favorite home design blog. This year, it’s easier to take that inspiration and find the things you really want on eBay – no words required. With Image Search, which we launched this fall, the entire internet is shoppable from your mobile device. Image Search uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to find similar items to the pictures you search with out of the 1.1 billion listings in eBay’s marketplace.

We have been keeping a close eye on the ways Image Search is transforming shopping on eBay. So what are people searching for when they can just use a picture and not words? We took a look at data from the peak holiday shopping days, Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Here are some of the highlights:

1) Top Items Searched
Fashion items were the top searches using Image Search. Trendy sneakers, women’s strappy sandals and women’s boots were most in demand. We also saw a lot of jewelry searches, including searches for diamond rings and hard-to-describe statement necklaces.

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2) Comparison Shopping
Is that price really the best deal? Consumers were keen on using Image Search while shopping in traditional retail stores on Black Friday and beyond, using the feature to quickly compare store prices with those of items for sale on eBay. Shoppers using Image Search were also twice as likely to take a photo in the app than to upload a photo from their camera roll or photo library.

3) Using Screenshots to Image Search
In addition to searching with new photos taken specifically for Image Search, we saw people uploading screenshots to identify items from blogs and other places across the web. With deals in abundance, using inspiration from a fashion or lifestyle blog as well as other online retailers to compare pricing seemed to be key.

4) Saturday the Highest Day for Image Searches
On the Saturday of Cyber 5 Weekend (or Small Business Saturday), we saw the highest volume of image searches. With shoppers on the go over the holiday weekend, Image Search helped them find must-buys on eBay. iOS was the most popular platform for using Image Search.

Whether it’s checking to see if that holiday deal really is a great one or finding that pair of shoes featured on your favorite blog, people are using Image Search to take inspirations from around the world and the web and find what they love on eBay.

SOURCE: eBay Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.