TECHNOLOGY

Apparel is a snap away – on Amazon

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon is keeping pace with Instagram and Pinterest with a new visually-oriented, artificial intelligence (AI)-based mobile shopping feature.

Amazon StyleSnap enables consumers to take a photograph or screenshot of an apparel item or entire look that they like, and Amazon will automatically recommend matching items. Amazon app users can click the camera icon in the upper right-hand corner of the app interface, select the “StyleSnap” option, upload a photograph or screenshot, and receive recommendations for similar items on Amazon.

When providing recommendations, StyleSnap considers a variety of factors such as brand, price range, and customer reviews. StyleSnap uses computer vision and deep learning to identify apparel items in a photo, regardless of setting. Deep learning technology also helps classify the apparel items in the image into categories like “fit-and-flair dresses” or “flannel shirts.”

StyleSnap is also designed to help fashion influencers expand their consumer engagement. Influencers who participate in the Amazon Influencer Program are eligible to receive commissions for purchases they inspire.

“The simplicity of the customer experience belies the complexity of the technology behind it,” said Jeff Wilkie, CEO of Amazon consumer worldwide. “We will continue to create new experiences for customers to discover the products they want and love. We are incredibly excited about StyleSnap and how it enables our customers to shop visually for fashion on Amazon.”

Amazon is introducing StyleSmart as visual social media platforms Instagram and Pinterest are becoming competitors in direct-to-consumer online sales. Instagram has recently rolled out direct online shopping features such as [email protected], an assortment of shoppable products curated by a team of Instagram editors. It also recently began enabling a small group of Instagram “creators” (such as Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, and Kris Jenner) to tag products in their posts, making the products instantly shoppable, and has started allowing users to buy products from a select group of brands without leaving the platform.

In addition, Pinterest is introducing several new shopping features, including “Shop a brand,” a new dedicated section from retailers that Pinterest is starting to roll out beneath product pins. Pinterest is also now offering personalized shopping recommendations alongside style, home, beauty and DIY boards. Users can click “more ideas,” then the shopping tag, to browse and shop recommended ideas. They can also tap “+” to add a recommended pin to their board, or click the pin to go directly to checkout on the retailer’s site.

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