Forever 21 is making online shopping more experiential with its new visual search and navigation tool. With it, users can skip typing terms into the search bar and get straight to browsing apparel that best suits their tastes.
The visual search function is available through the “Discover Your Style” module on the Forever 21 app and its homepage when accessed from a mobile browser. Users narrow down the selection of clothing by tapping icons representing styles, colors, length and more to narrow down their search parameters.
“Discover Your Style” originally debuted in May on the Forever 21 iOS app, but it was limited only to dresses and tops. In that test period, the company saw increased sale conversations, with purchase averages for both categories growing by 20 percent. It is now available for use across a broad variety of clothing styles, using artificial intelligence, natural language processing and computer vision to quickly serve relevant search results to users.
According to the announcement, shoppers tend to abandon ecommerce sites if they can’t find what they’re looking for within three clicks. One study shows that millennials prefer to have a blend of technology and curation when shopping and having fast, personalized and intuitive search tools are critical to engaging with young consumers.
Forever 21 president Alex Ok said in a statement, “Visual search technology bridges the gap between the convenience of online shopping and the rich discovery experience of traditional retail by enabling our customers to search for clothing in the same way they think about it—using visuals, not words. Early data shows that this is one of the most important innovations in the ecommerce space in recent years.”
The company will work to further develop the visual search technology as part of its omnichannel shopping experience, leveraging it for merchandising, recommendations and lifecycle marketing efforts.