eBay has announced two new features to help users find their products without having to use words — Find It On eBay and Image Search, both which allow you to search for products using pictures, according to a news post on eBay’s news section website.
“Have you ever seen someone wearing something you wanted to buy but you didn’t know where to get it? Or maybe you saw something you liked while reading your favorite blog or flipping through Pinterest but you didn’t know where you could buy it, let alone how to describe it in words? There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but who really wants to write that much when you are trying to find something quickly,” it said in the news post about eBay’s new features.
The first feature, Find It On eBay, is available on the eBay app and allows users to share a photo to eBay so that the it can find either the exact products they’re looking for or other products that look similar to it. The photo can be shared from social media or on a website, making it easier for people to search for products without having to describe it.
The second feature, Image Search, is also available on the eBay app and other mobile versions of eBay. With Image Search, users can take a photo or use a photo from their camera roll, share it with the app, and eBay will show you the product or other products similar to it.
These features will help users more efficiently find products without having to type it into the search bar. There haven’t been many apps that would let you search for a picture of the product you’re looking for, so eBay is taking a step ahead in technological advances to make these features possible.
According to Business Insider, 60 percent of U.S. consumers use Pinterest to look at photos, and 55 percent of U.S. consumers use Pinterest to search and buy products. Since eBay mentioned that their users do use Pinterest to search for products, these features can particularly target Pinterest users who want to look for products without having to describe it.
“These features sift through the more than 1.1 billion listings on eBay, creating a seamless shopping experience and helping you find your version of perfect. They also open up new ways to discover unique and fun items that wouldn’t be possible with just using words,” it said in the news post about the new features.
In order to create these features, eBay revealed that they did research into artificial intelligence, and focusing on its core features. While the image won’t be shown to eBay directly, it creates a “representation” of the product used in the photo and search through products so that the AI can try to identify what you’re looking for.
These new features for the eBay app will be released in the fall of this year; Find It On eBay will be available on Android only (for now) while Image Search will be available for both iOS and Android versions of the eBay app.
As mentioned before, AI recognition hasn’t been available for many online stores like Amazon, for example. Google does have a similar feature for searching for images named Search Google for Image, but it may not lead you to the website you want to find the products on. Assuming the goal for this new feature is to get more users on eBay, making it easier for people to find what they want may be a good start.