Images are increasingly supplanting words as consumers embrace images over text. Firms like Amazon, Slyce, The Hunt and Depop are building m-commerce discovery tools built around images rather than product descriptions—enabling consumers to identify real-life products they like using their smartphone camera.
Amazon launched Flow, an image-recognition feature on its app that lets customers add items to a shopping list by holding them in front of the smartphone camera, removing the need to scan a barcode. (Amazon appears bent on removing the need to type in words: It’s now testing Dash, a Wi-Fi wand that lets users scan barcodes or verbally add items to a list.) Similarly, Slyce, which raised $11 million in its first financing round last month, offers a mobile app (as well as a desktop service) that provides purchase information based on a users’ photo. The Hunt is a desktop and mobile tool that relies on crowdsourcing rather than image recognition software to help shoppers find purchase info based on photos. Depop, in the U.K. that lets users “sell by just taking a picture.”