eBay Collective Launches, Curates Images From Visual Search Engine

eBay launched a site Monday it calls eBay Collective, which curates its online inventory of furniture, antiques, contemporary design and fine art. The site also offers a visual search engine that identifies the pieces in the image and searches its inventory for similar objects.

Technology from the search engine Corrigon, which eBay recently acquired for about $30 million, powers the Shop the Room feature on the site. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page to see how the technology enables consumers to click an image of a fully designed room and then the technology will search across eBay's inventory to find items that are close matches.

Corrigon, a visual search engine with headquarters in eBay's Israeli development center in Netanya, identifies images within a photograph much the same way Google and other technology can now identify and search for images within a video or across a site.

The feature aims to help shoppers find goods across the site in as few as clicks as possible, especially as traffic from smartphones continues to rise. eMarketer estimates that this year’s retail ecommerce holiday sales will contribute nearly 25% of total retail ecommerce sales for 2016.

Adobe reported in January 2016 that mobile phone retail Web site traffic share rose from 30% in 2014 to 30% in 2015 during the holiday shopping season.

Retail Web sites such as Cost Plus World Market provide a feature that allows consumers click on a hot spot within the photo to get prices and add the item to a shopping cart.

While eBay's Shop the Room feature highlights the innovation, the site also offers a Shop by Style feature that enables online shoppers to click on an image and search across the site to find similar items.

eBay Collective, which highlights one-of-a-kind objects traditionally found in independent brick-and-mortar stores, also will pull into the site a variety of editorial articles from Architectural Digest and Archdigest.com about decorating, shopping, and industry events to provide site visitors with access to content and inspiring ideas that include decorating tips.

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