Argos launches new visual search for app users

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Homemakers can now find the look they want, at the touch of a button, thanks to a new visual search service in the Argos IoS app enabling customers to shop for homewares and furniture using images on their smart phone. 

Users simply 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 furniture, curtains or homewares. 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. With thousands of fantastic value homewares and furniture available in its online catalogue, this innovative way of shopping will make it even easier for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. 

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. 

Argos’s aim is to extend the visual search functionality to customers using the retailer’s iconic paper catalogue in the future, where the app could surface products to complement items customers find on catalogue pages.

Mark Steel, digital director at Argos, 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 homewares 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.”

Visual search is the latest in a line of technology-enabled innovations from Argos designed to make mobile shopping even easier. Last year, it launched a voice shop service enabling customers to reserve 20,000 products using voice technology on the Google Assistant. The retailer also launched augmented reality technology to support LEGO® toys, TVs and sofas.