Wayfair Launches Visual Search Feature Aimed At Taking On Pinterest, Amazon

Explore this investment 05.17.17

The launch of ‘Search with Photo’ is more than a fun feature: It also reflects how discovery is changing in the age of intelligent search.

By Lauryn Chamberlain

E-commerce home goods purveyor Wayfair has launched “Search with Photo,” an AI-powered visual search feature that lets snap a photo to find Wayfair products that match the décor looks they see and like — a move that reinforces the way intelligent search is transforming consumer discovery of places and products across the board.

Here’s how it works: Prospective shoppers can tap the camera icon in the Wayfair.com search bar, which allows them to snap a photo or upload one from their photo library. They can then browse visually similar items on Wayfair’s site, and either purchase them immediately or add products to an “Idea Board” to save for later or share with others.

Wayfair is far from the first to embrace the idea that customers might like to use images of real-world products to search for inspiration or find similar items: the rollout of “Search with Photo” is likely aimed at competing with Pinterest, which recently debuted its own visual search capability, and even Amazon, with its “interesting finds” feature — as TechCrunch reported that the e-commerce giant has its own ambitions in the furniture category.

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