Slapping a camera on a computer or mobile phone won’t make it see. But with computer vision and image recognition, we can teach our devices to recognise and process images or videos the same way our eyes do every single day. Unsurprisingly, this is easier said than done. After all, in 1966 AI pioneer Marvin Minsky instructed one of his students to “connect a camera to a computer and have it describe what it sees.” Over fifty years later, we’re still working on it.
But fixating on computer vision, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies for the sake of it won’t get you anywhere. The key to any successful digital product or app development is focusing on a key business problem or core challenge. Then find the technology most suited for that specific problem. In this example, we’ll look at how you can enhance your customer experience (CX) with computer vision.
A Common Customer Experience Challenges
When it comes to the buyer journey, there’s a huge problem. Not only that but it’s right at the beginning and has the potential to derail the entire process. When someone spots something interesting while they’re out and about, what do they do?
Most consumers will take a mental note and search for it later. But they’ll often struggle to translate the rich, colourful picture in their minds into the words Google needs. Others might grab a quick photo but they’ll still come into the same problem. Or they’ll have to rely on family, friends and social media sites for help finding the item.
This is a huge problem. Because whether it’s an out-of-home advert you’ve paid for or a customer championing your product, there’s the potential for the consumer to miss your brand during their search. Or the people they ask to add their own personal bias.
Enter computer vision.
Enhancing Your Customer Experience with Computer Vision
With a well-trained computer vision model, smartphones can see the world the way your customers do. Without you worrying about them having to find the right words. Or getting swayed by whoever they ask for help. Instead, using mobile app features like Pinterest’s Visual Discovery, all your customers have to do is simply point their phone’s camera at the product, item or piece of clothing that they’re interested in.
But going one step further, several large fashion retailers have introduced these ‘visual searches’ into their native mobile apps. And surprisingly, if someone searches for a product using the ASOS visual search… then they only see similar products that are available on ASOS. Helping the company to capture more consumers along more points in the customer journey.