Online home goods retailer Wayfair has launched “Search with Photo,” a visual search tool that leverages artificial intelligence to enable shoppers to find matching home furnishings to the items they take photos of. Available across mobile and desktop devices, shoppers can access the feature via the camera icon in the Wayfair.com search bar, which allows them to snap a photo or upload one from their photo library. The search engine will quickly returns visually similar items available from Wayfair’s inventory for direct purchases. Users can add the products they like to an Idea Board to save for later or share with others.
What Brands Need To Do
This new visual search engine should help Wayfair maintain a competitive edge over other ecommerce sites. With the quick advancement of machine learning and AI-powered solutions, we are starting to see examples of brands primarily using the camera as an input source of the mobile user interface and leverage images to learn about user intent. Previously, Pinterest and Amazon have both launched similar visual search feature that uses the camera as the input source for better understanding what users are looking for and optimize the product discovery process. Brands looking to stay ahead of the digital curve will need to start formulating a “camera strategy” and broaden their methods of customer data collection.
A+E Networks is teaming up with home decor and furniture ecommerce site Wayfair to create its first-ever “fully shoppable” TV show. Billed as its most ambitious branded content push, A+E will start airing this lifestyle and home improvement show titled The Way Home this weekend on the Lifetime channel. Every item that appears on the show will be available for purchase on Wayfair’s site. After each segment, the hosts will direct viewers to check out Wayfair.com, and the show will feature on-screen pop-up animations to drive viewers to the Wayfair site.
To better measure the show’s impact on sales, A+E Networks and Wayfair are also teaming up with advanced TV analytics firm Samba TV, which will provide cross-platform measurement and report how effectively on-air marketing drives viewers to the show and how the show drives engagement on Wayfair’s website.
What Brands Should Do
This show still serves as an interesting example of how traditional media companies can work with online retailers to reinvent TV shopping by introducing ecommerce into the living room via branded content. There is also the potential of integrating mobile as a touchpoint to direct viewers to the Wayfair site in a more targeted way. With more and more consumers opting for the ad-free experiences enabled by subscription-based services and ad blockers, it is imperative that brands and media owners work together to engage audiences in new ways, such as sponsored content and native ads.
For more information on how brands should leverage interesting branded content to earn consumer eyeballs, check out the Ad Avoidance section of our Outlook 2016.