Snapdeal Launches FindMyStyle.in, A Customized Fashion Product Search Engine
Online retail giant SnapDeal on Wednesday launched FindMyStyle.in , a portal which works on the basis of advanced image recognition algorithms. Currently, Snapdeal is calling it a technology platform for its own employees and users alike.
The e-retailer claims that the search methodology of findmystyle.in is very detailed and customized to a consumer’s preference to help them discover a product of choice in a faster and easier way.
“We are launching FindMyStyle as a technology platform for users and our own internal employees. Sometimes there is an intermediate step between launching a new technology and taking it to a product, so this is one of those things, said Anand Chandrasekaran, Chief Product Officer at Snapdeal.
“The feature will further enhance customer experience and make online shopping fasterm better and more informative. We are looking to create an experimental playground and the base for our image modelling, product search and machine learning algorithms,” he added.
The premise behind findmystyle.in is quite simple. It is targeted towards a consumer who has a fair idea of what he/she wants and is able to visually describe. The website pulls its entire catalogue of products from Snapdeal itself and redirects back to the parent site for the final purchase. It allows the user to customize his product search on the basis of the visual cues and details of products.
For instance, if you’re looking for a particular type of stripped shirt then it will first go from showing you stripes and then eventually go and offer you options similar to the one you’ve selected. The idea is the bring the visual curation that an offline retailer is able to offer a consumer on the basis of his/her preferences online.
Back in March, Snapdeal had quietly acquired a start-up called Fashiate, which specialized at this kind of a technology. “This happened as a result of an acqui-hire called Fashiate, which happened a couple of months ago. They are operating out of Bangalore. The acquisition happened in March,” said Chandrasekaran.
The product itself was developed at Snapdeal’s Multimedia Research Lab in Bangalore, which has been operational for only 6 months. Chandrasekaran says that the company plans on investing $100 million in the research center over the next three years.
Notably, findmystyle.in will not be released as an app as Snapdeal feels it is faster to update a standalone website. That being true, there is a mobile website for the same.
Snapdeal and Chandrasekaran are of the view that findmystyle.in is a technology platform that once perfected could be integrated with the main website. “Sometimes there is an intermediate step between launching a new technology and taking it to a product, so this is one of those things,” said Chandrasekaran.
“This is not intended to drive a major business outcome except to enhance our core products. It is explicitly meant to be a playground,” he added.
Recently, Chandrasekaran’s team also launched Shopo, which is a mobile app that helps bring offline retailers online and connect them directly with the consumers in a personalized way. Chandrasekaran believes that all of Snapdeal’s different apps and services have a place. “There will be use cases that we will solve with our different apps but we want all of them to work at scale,” he said.
On its competition going mobile only, Chandrasekaran was of the view of providing choice to his users, though he conceded that the maximum growth was coming from mobile. “I posted on social media that we shouldn’t be just on one platform. Someone told me that we open multiple tabs while shopping. We feel strongly the other 25 percent or whatever that number may be, have the right to choose whatever platform they want to use.”