eBay Simplifies Online Shopping with Image Search


Oct. 27 2017, Published 11:09 a.m. ET

Shopping search tools

eBay (EBAY) is rolling out the AI (artificial intelligence) image search tools it launched a few months ago. The AI-powered tools, Image Search and Find It On eBay, are now live on mobile, Australian e-commerce news portal Power Retail reported.

eBay’s Image Search and Find It On eBay use computer vision and deep learning, two core parts of AI technology (QQQ), to support quick and simple shopping searches using images. The company unveiled Image Search and Find It On eBay in July this year and said that the tools would be available in this fall. The company said that the tools are designed to help shoppers search for items that may be difficult for them to describe in words.

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Shoppers can search with an image from a website or camera

Although Image Search and Find It On eBay are both designed to support image searches, they function somewhat differently. With Find It On eBay, shoppers can provide an image link from a third-party site such as Facebook (FB) or Pinterest to eBay’s mobile app and the app will gather product listings that are visually similar to the shared image.

On the other hand, Image Search allows shoppers to take a photo of an item they want to purchase but can’t describe in words. They can then enter the photo into eBay’s search bar to generate listings that are a close match to their photo.

Mobile platform availability

eBay’s Image Search tool is available on Google’s (GOOGL) Android and Apple’s (AAPL) iOS platform, while Find It On eBay is currently available on Android only.

The rollout of these shopping image search tools just ahead of the holiday season suggests that eBay may be betting on the tools to help fuel purchases on its site. eBay generated revenue of $2.4 billion in the 2016 holiday quarter, up 6.0% from the 2015 holiday quarter, as shown in the chart above.


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