Walmart and Hayneedle Testing Visual Search Technology

Walmart Hayneedle Visual Search Technology

Imagine you are at your neighbors house, or thumbing through a magazine, and you see a couch that you like. Or a lamp. Or any home furnishing. Now imagine that you can take a picture of that item and have an app show you comparable items for sale.

Well, Walmart’s home furnishing e-commerce site, Hayneedle, is partnering with Walmart Labs on an app that can do just that. Using “visual search technology”, shoppers will be able take a picture of a piece of furniture in a showroom, for example, then use the app to find a comparable product on Hayneedle.com.

Visual search has incredible potential to change how customers might find products that they are interested in purchasing. It’s also a technology that is available to retailers now from third-party sources, such as Slyce, which has worked with dozens of retailers.

Currently, Walmart is using third-party solutions to accomplish this visual search feature. However, depending on the success of the initiative, they may view visual search as strategic enough to warrant having its own proprietary technology so that the company can eventually scale up throughout its entire chain.

How often have you wanted to buy something that you saw in a magazine or picture, but didn’t know to buy it? Would this technology influence your purchasing habits? Sound off in the comments below!