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FEATURED ARTICLE:

The Top 6 Apps

for Exploring the Possibilities of Visual Search

by Carissa Kaufman

October 22, 2014

Everyday iTunes adds, interchanges, or removes applications from its various prestigious Top Rated lists. With all of the different international app stores, each containing many categories, few apps consistently rank. Many apps are completely overlooked – never receiving the credit they deserve.

Unfortunately, many large corporation’s apps are simply mobile versions of their websites (ex. H&M, Nordstrom, Forever21). These apps have no substantial benefit and take up valuable real estate on your phone’s home page. Therefore, the smaller competitors are the ones that we’re actually interested in, the apps that people use – and like to use. The issue isn’t with the size of the corporation, it’s the lack of interaction and exclusivity of downloading the app. The larger companies typically only offer a simplified, easy to navigate, version of their website in app form. While it looks nice and saves you the step of typing 5-10 characters in your web browser, the app doesn’t offer any other incentive with use.

So what makes an app interactive and exclusive? With the UO app from the Urban Outfitters for instance, users can stream the stores music on their device while shopping. There are exclusive offers available only to UO users and users are notified first of any new items or sales. By offering incentives to own and use the app, a company can retain customers and continue growing.

Therefore, the top six apps that we love… and actually use, are the following:

wish-shopping-suggestion-app Wish

Start shopping in a smarter and more rewarding way today. Download Wish to join over 30 million people who are using it to make shopping smart, fun, and rewarding. Start your Wishlists and get special offers and gift cards for items you like directly from merchants and brands.

“I love most of the stuff it suggests for me. I wind up surfing for hours sometimes. Then I got a $10 gift card off some items I wished for!” – Meg Blaylock

“Must have app. The clothing, suggestions and all the other wonderful stuff in here is awesome. I’m hooked.” – Claudia Betancur

“Love, Love this app. It’s a fun app that you can wish on things you love and want. Highly recommend it to frndz & fmly.” – Olivia Austin

hunt-find-shopping-app The Hunt

Ever find a pic of an outfit you just HAVE to have but don’t know where it’s from? Start a Hunt by posting the pic and the community of over a million Hunters will help you find it. Help cure outfit envy by solving Hunts for other community members.

  • Start Hunts – post a photo of anything and find out where to buy it
  • Add Finds – give people stylish suggestions for what to shop for
  • Browse What’s Trending – see what styles are hot right now
  • Gem Finds – keep track of stuff you love on your profile
  • Follow Hunts – get notified when cool items have been found
  • Buy Stuff!

“Love this app! This app is the best app for fashion! You get to see all these different kinds of styles! Some that you like, or that you don’t. You get to post clothes and styles that you like to inspire people with other outfits! This app is just fabulous! If you love fashion get this app NOW.” – The Hunt User

asap54-fashion-app ASAP54

ASAP54 is a revolutionary new way to discover and shop fashion online, it combines a social fashion community with the latest visual search technology, to instantly connect you with that must-have item that you are hunting for.

You can personalise your own social feed by following other ASAPERS so you can see what friends and style muses are searching and discovering in real time. ASAP54 allows you to make unlimited searches and then explore, discover, shop, like and comment.

If you still can’t find that object of your desire, the app also offers a unique team of in-house stylists, that at the tap of a button, will report back to you with a further five lust-worthy suggestions from high-end to high-street, all within 24 hours.

  • Over 150 retailers and 1 million products to discover and shopLive social feed of friends and style influencers you want to follow
  • Explore what the most popular searched for items are around the world
  • Pioneering visual search technology, no need for word searches
  • Personal stylist team on hand to assist with tailored recommendations
  • Wish list to save all your favourite items to come back to later
  • Shop and be connected instantly to the retailers store to purchase

gilt-shopping-sale-app GILT

Join Gilt’s 8 million members to get instant access to today’s top designers at insider prices. Shop today’s best fashions for women, men, kids, and home all at up to 60% off—plus great deals in your city!

The Gilt app provides free, easy access to:

  • Luxury Brands at up to 60% Off: Valentino, John Varvatos, kate spade new york & more!
  • New Items Added Daily: Most sales last just 36 hours.
  • Sales Start at Noon ET: Bonus sales begin at 9pm ET Sun. and Wed.
  • Gilt City: Local offers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.
  • Real-Time Reminders: Get notified as soon as sales start, waitlist items become available & more.
  • Mobile-Exclusive Sales: Because half the thrill is being first.

stylethief-shop-app Style Thief

With Style Thief you can easily search for, find and buy any fashion apparel you see on the street, TV, internet or anywhere else!

Grab your iPhone, take a picture or upload it from the device and gain access to thousands of products and brands from best known sellers.

Style Thief makes your hunt for the newest fashion trends and hottest styles fun and easy! You’ll never have to ask yourself ‘What is she wearing?’ or ‘Where did he buy that?’ anymore – just upload the photo to Style Thief and our cutting-edge, unique photo engine will do the rest!

  • Snap & Steal: Make a photo or upload one from your device, choose the category and find clothes matching those on the photo!
  • Choose & Buy: Browse the list of best matches, save favourite ones for later and go directly to a place where you can buy it!
  • Find & Share: Make your friends envious by showing off your latest finds!
  • Search & Shop: Look for shops around the corner!

wanelo-shopping-app Wanelo

Wanelo is the best way to shop. Millions of people use Wanelo (from Want, Need, Love) to find and buy products they love. Wanelo brings you an endless stream of the most unique products online, all posted by people like you. Use the app to search across all your stores in one place! Then buy your favorite products, right from the app.

“Wake up, check Wanelo. Lunch break, check Wanelo, go to sleep, still checking Wanelo. I think I need therapy.” – Jackie (@jackiebianchino)

“So I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed with Wanelo #noshame” – Bri (@BriNastiii_)

“Wanelo is a fun and vibrant app that keeps you up to date on trends, helps you find items from home decor to clothing of your taste, and lets you save pieces you find to your liking with just 2 taps. – (@Monks2000)

While few of these apps utilize Visual Search technology, integrating that crucial feature directly into an application could be exactly what these competing applications need to stay on top. Visual Search companies are just now starting to emerge into the tech market. As consumers gain awareness and continue using these applications, we’ll definitely see Visual Search integrated across all of these retail (and other) applications.

Now get downloading and happy shopping!