August 25, 2010, 4:57 PM

Using images, rather than words, when searching to buy

GazoPa Style allows shoppers to cull through images from a variety of sites.

Hitachi America Ltd. has launched GazoPa Style, a women’s fashion-centric visual search site that allows consumers to browse product images, rather than text, and click to a retail site to make a purchase.

Unlike many other image search services, GazoPa Style, located on the web at Style.Gazopa.com, uses characteristics such as similar colors and shapes rather than metadata to cull through its products. Metadata as used on web sites is information used to describe online content such as product listings.

Hitachi also operates GazoPa.com, a general image search site. GazoPa Style, still in a beta version, extends the GazoPa platform into e-commerce.

 

 

GazoPa Style allows consumers to type in a retailer’s product page URL, or to upload an image from their computers, to find similar products—both in shape and color—on the site’s broad inventory.  The products on the site are from Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Etsy and Sugar Inc.’s ShopStyle. Hitachi says it plans to add more products from other e-commerce sites in the near future.

A consumer can click to see a quick view of each image that the search presents, as well as click to view related items. On each product page are options to share the item on Facebook or Twitter.

The site’s launch occurred shortly before Google’s recent acquisition of Like.com, which features photo-recognition technology that creates what the company calls visual signatures that can enable consumers to search by product images.

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