October 28, 2014, 9:22 AM

Neiman Marcus makes it easier for mobile shoppers to buy items they spot on the street

A customer can take a picture of a shoe or handbag she spies and buy those items, or similar products.

Lead Photo

High-end fashion retailer Neiman Marcus Group Inc. knows its customers are attached to their phones and don’t always want to wait once they see something on the street that they want to buy.

To better serve that impatient shopper, the company is adding a new feature to its mobile app called Snap. Find. Shop.  The feature allows a customer to take a picture of an item she likes and buy it right away. The company uses image-recognition software developer Slyce to provide the 3-D visual search technology that  allows the shopper to take a picture of a shoe or a handbag and give her several similar options to purchase right away. Neiman Marcus is No. 41 on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

“If you see someone on the street and you like their handbag, you don’t have to make contact with them, you can take a picture and it’ll come back with three or four similar styles,” says a Neiman Marcus spokesman. “Instant gratification is something that’s very important for our customers. I see those shoes, I want them, I can purchase them right then and there.”

The spokesman says the company made it a priority to integrate the Snap. Find. Shop. feature into its existing app in order to make customers’ lives easier and not force them to download a separate app to use the technology.

The spokesman says the company is planning on expanding the feature to include product lines other than handbags and shoes in the near future.

Earlier in October the retailer added a new feature to its e-commerce site,  MyNM, that shows a shopper what’s new since her last visit, what the hottest styles are in her city, and which items are being pinned the most on Pinterest.

 “The point of MyNM is the more you play with it, it will get to know you so it puts forward things that you might like in the same way a sales associate might be able to do,” the spokesman says. “That’s the goal is to make sure we can replicate that experience for you that you might have in a store, how do you replicate it online?”

The software underpinning it was developed by a combination of outside vendors and some of Neiman Marcus’ own team members.

The feature isn’t available on mobile devices yet, however Nieman Marcus says it’s hoping to change that soon.

The spokesman says she doesn’t have exact numbers in terms of how many people have used the feature since it was unveiled but did say that those customers who are using it are finding it very helpful in their shopping experience.

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