March 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Visual search drives up conversion rate on Shopoon.fr

With a new visual site search tool, visitors to the French comparison shopping site for fashion apparel and home décor products are viewing and buying more products, co-founder and CEO Fabrice Berger Duquene says.

 

With a new visual site search tool, visitors to the French comparison shopping site for fashion apparel and home décor products are viewing and buying more products, co-founder Fabrice Berger Duquene says.

Shopoon, a former unit of Redcats Group founded two years ago, provides images of about 500,000 items from 150 retailers. Since deploying visual search from LTU Technologies more than a year ago, Shopoon serves up twice as many product images and has increased its visitor-to-purchase conversion rate by 25-35%, says Duquene, who was vice president of web development worldwide for Redcats.

When a shopper on Shopoon.fr searches for women’s shoes, for example, the results page will present multiple product images that can be clicked to produce a second page of shoes of a similar look and style.

Duquene says he expects the visual search tool to produce even better shopping metrics after Shopoon launches a new site design this year. The redesign will use Ajax technology to make similar product images appear without having to click to a second page.

Shopoon, which has about 2 million unique visitors per month, also uses technology from Endeca Technologies Inc. for site navigation. Although Shopoon.fr currently serves only shoppers in France, it expects to eventually serve markets outside of France, Duquene says.

LTU Technologies first offered its visual search engine to online retailers when the company was founded in 2000, but vacated the retail market soon afterward with the Internet investment bust to concentrate on the defense industry, says Alex Winter, co-founder and CEO. “Now we’re getting back into online media and e-commerce,” he says.

The average cost to deploy a licensed version of the LTU visual search engine is about $50,000 for a mid-size retailer, Winter says. For a lower entry price, LTU also offers a software-as-a-service version that retailers can subscribe to over the Internet.

Although Shopoon.fr is the only retail site that has deployed the LTU visual search engine so far, LTU is working to deploy it for three other retailers that Winter is not yet free to name, he says.

 

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