I’m possibly the absolute worst shopper. I hate going into a store and avoid shopping centres at all costs. Which is why online shopping is basically designed for me. However, browsing online stores is not my forte. So often I’ll see a gorgeous pair of shoes, necklace or pretty shirt and want to buy it… only to get online and not even know where to start looking for it. I have the fashion sense of a small piglet in a tutu so most of my outfit inspiration comes from watching my far more fashion forward friends’ instagram accounts or taking note of items on people when I’m out and about.
But that doesn’t always work
I usually see someone wearing something I love and ask them where they got it from, they tell me, I head to the internet and… can’t find it. I’ve spent hours trawling through online shopping sites and log off feeling dejected because I just cannot find what I want or what I was looking for. The truth is, the stuff is there – I just don’t have the style savvy to search correctly.
And then Spree launched their visual search
This is pretty rad as Spree’s new visual search is the first of its kind in Africa. It works rather simply. The Spree App on iOS and Android has an update. The tweak to the OS is slight but it is a game changer. In short, when you open the app and click the search icon (the little magnifying glass) you’ll have the option to select “SEARCH BY IMAGE.” I’ve tried this search on both my iPhone 6s and my Samsung S8 and it is as easy and pain free on both phones. Once you click “SEARCH BY IMAGE” you’re able to either take a photo or select one from your camera roll.
How does it work in real life?
I decided to put the Spree Visual Search through its paces. A few months ago I snapped a photo of my brother’s girlfriend at ICON in the cutest top. I loved the open shoulders and cute ribbon embellishments. I’d kept the photo in the hope that I’d eventually brave a shopping centre and be able to have a reference for the sales assistant who’d likely notice me looking terrified at one of the racks. I used this photo for my little test.
The first time you search by image the Spree App gives you a quick tutorial on how best to take photos and crop them to ensure the best results. Ideally if you’re photographing shoes you want a side photo but for garments you want to take a front facing picture directly on. You then want to crop the photo so you show arm and neck (if it is a top). I followed the prompts and uploaded the photo.
The search results came back with a multitude of gorgeous garments. Granted some followed a more neutral style with the same colour palette. However, the variety of options was awesome. Most of the items were clothing I’d purchase and I loved the variety. Each had a similar style or colour to the top I’d uploaded.
I didn’t get given the exact top I wanted. But I understand that it is probably off the shelves already. However, I was given some options that I fell in love with. There was a gorgeous nude long sleeve top with lace embellishment that had a similar colour palette and offered up an open shoulder type reveal. While it wasn’t the blouse I photographed, it was a trillion times better and I purchased it on the spot. There was also a gorgeous dress with the ribbon detail that came up in the searches. I’d not usually purchase a dress but this one was far too beautiful to turn down and is actually something I would wear – so it found its way into my basket as well.
How it works
The app uses Artificial Intelligence to match up colour, pattern, texture and silhouette. On my first use of the image search I didn’t filter by gender but have since realised I can – which makes a giant difference. I’m obsessed with the image search on the Spree app now and can be found randomly snapping photos of unsuspecting fashionistas in the streets of Joburg! This one really is a game changer and just changed my online shopping experience completely.
Have you tried the Spree visual search yet? What do you think?