Users take a photograph or upload a saved image of their desired item to the app, which instantly searches the entire Argos online catalogue for similar products. The technology does this by recognising distinctive features such as the shape, colour and style of items in the image.
The launch is part of Argos’s mission to ‘offer customers an engaging, technology-led mobile shopping experience’. Visual search works alongside Argos’s existing augmented reality technology, which lets customers digitally place products such as sofas and TVs into their own homes using the IoS app to assess the look, size and fit before buying.
The retailer’s digital director Mark Steel said: “Customers are increasingly using social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest as a source of inspiration. So visual search has the potential to transform how we shop for the home. By creating it in our app, we’re intentionally putting this exciting new technology directly into the hands and pockets of our customers who are using mobile devices to shop more than ever.
“Customers seeking a product or even an entire room set they’ve discovered online, or seen in a friend’s home, can now browse our vast range of homeware and furniture to find great value similar items in an instant, simply using a picture.
“The future potential for visual search is really exciting as it has the ability to break down language barriers and offer those with disabilities an easy way to find what they need online. We’re also exploring how we can use it to help bridge the gap between our physical catalogue and digital channels, offering customers a truly integrated way to shop.”