Los Angeles-based Forever 21 is the latest fashion retailer turning to artificial intelligence to improve customers’ shopping experience.
The fast-fashion firm partnered with Donde Search to build its “Discover Your Style” feature that helps shoppers search visually rather than typing key words and attributes into a search bar. That means a customers can click on graphic icons of a skirt length or neckline, for example, that resonate with her instead of relying on a string of words to yield relevant product listings.
“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,” Forever 21 president Alex Ok said.
In addition to artificial intelligence, Donde Search employs computer vision technology as well as natural language processing to deliver search results germane to the shopper’s interests. After a month-long beta test in its iOS mobile app yielded a 20 percent lift in average order value and a boost to conversions in tops and dresses, Forever 21 said executives made the decision to “fast-track” the wide-scale technology rollout on its e-commerce website.
“Fundamentally changing how our customers search for products and interact with our brand is no small task, but our partnership with Donde has been everything we could have hoped for as we build out our visual search capabilities,” Ok said.
Donde Search’s B2B platform, powered by a proprietary algorithm, launched this year as a means of helping retailers serve customers who allegedly often abandoned e-commerce sites if they can’t find what they’re looking for within three clicks. The startup is backed by advisors and investors from industry leaders like AliExpress, Google and Waze.
“As e-commerce’s share of retail sales continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that retailers use a universal language that both shoppers and merchandisers can understand,” Liat Zakay, CEO and founder of Donde Search, said. “Our visual search and navigation solution helps innovative retailers like Forever 21 eliminate language issues and improve conversion rates, and we’re thrilled to partner with the company as it transforms the online shopping experience for its customers.”