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John Lewis bets on visual search for iPad

John Lewis has added Cortexica's AI visual search technology to its mens and womenswear product list pages.

Following a successful six month trial, the retailer has added the technology permanently to its online fashion pages on the John Lewis iPad app.

The visual search technology allows customers to find similar products within the app. Cortexica's solution displays search results of a range of products within a particular category that are visually similar in colours, shapes, details and patterns. The retailer said by searching inventory visually, the customer has access to a greater range of product choice and inspiration without the need for inputting keywords.

Cortexica’s technology replicates processes found in the human visual cortex to recognise content from digitally images.

"Since introducing the Cortexica visual search technology to our iPad app, we have seen customers really engage with the Find Similar tool and use it to easily navigate their way to other products of interest," said Sienne Veit, director of online product at John Lewis. "In light of the impressive results from this trial, we are now extending the technology further across men’s and women’s fashion to enable a broader range of our customers to benefit from its functionality to inspire them and enhance their online shopping experience."

John Lewis – which was the first UK retailer to install this technology – witnessed increased customer engagement following the trial, with 90% of customers saying the 'Find Similar' feature was useful. Conversion rate was also higher on the iPad app in categories which offered the find similar search results.

Iain McCready, CEO of Cortexica, added: "This is the first example of a UK high street retailer fully embracing the potential of visual search and positions John Lewis at the vanguard of technological innovation designed to improve customer experience. As the John Lewis trial has demonstrated, visual search can provide clear return on investment to retailers and we are now rolling out this technology in partnership with a range of customers in a number of verticals."

Today, John Lewis also announced new homeware brand collaborations which it hopes will result in £1billion revenue from home products by 2020.

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