What is a Fashion Search Engine and How Do You Use One?

Products • 15/10/21

Search engines are as old as the internet itself. They’ve grown and evolved together, making the big great web as sophisticated and intuitive as we know it today. Most importantly, search engines come in a lot of different formats - for example, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Since the fashion industry has been undergoing digital transformation, we can now see a very unique tool emerging - a fashion search engine.

 

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With a variety of clothing outlets available online, one can spend countless hours looking for a specific item they need. And, since some of the retailers have assortments reaching well into thousands of hundreds, this can become very frustrating. The recent switch of about every luxury fashion retailer to eCommerce has only worsened matters.

 

You must have thought at least once of how great would it be to put specific attributes of the items you’re looking for into Google and be presented with the exact results you’re looking for, as well as a place to buy it from. Well, consider yourself heard - because fashion search engines are officially a thing. 

What is Fashion Search Engine?

A fashion search engine is a search engine that focuses on collecting and presenting retail options for apparel, footwear and accessory items that correspond to your search query. 

 

For example, if you look up ‘red zebra print high heels’, your search results will provide you with a list of designs relevant to your search that are linked to stores to purchase them from. Depending on the fashion search engine’s functionality, you can filter these results by sizes needed, price range and other criteria.

How to Recognise One

Fashion search engines don’t look like Google or Yahoo - they’re not limited to a search bar. In fact, they are usually beautifully built, complex websites that look a lot like eCommerce websites. Similarly to online stores, you can browse them based on categories, brand names, date uploaded, etc. Most fashion search engines will even have resource outlets such as a blog or a newsletter

 

The way of telling them apart from regular eCommerce shop is usually a huge selection of brands and, often, inconsistency in product descriptions or imagery format. This is because, similarly to Google, fashion search engines don’t upload content - they are using artificial intelligence to pull relevant content onto their directories. 

 

Another quick way to tell whether the website is a shop or a search engine is by trying to purchase a product. The eCommerce shop will take you to a checkout, whereas the search engine will redirect you to the website of the retailer selling the item.

 

How is it Different from Google?

As intuitive as the biggest search engine is nowadays, it’s still likely to present you with pages related or similar to your search inquiry as opposed to being precise. Sure enough, the Google Shop widget will pull out a list of products that include keywords you’ve used - but these are all paid ads. 

 

It means that, unlike items you would find organically due to relevance, these results are being shown to you because the company selling them has paid for them to be shown. Products of brands that are not running paid advertisements will not appear in the widget. That’s why often products you see are not within your desired price range, irrelevant or limited in choice. 

 

If you look past paid ads, Google won’t always suggest shopping destinations to match your query. With an abundance of content on various topics, especially fashion, it is likely to send you to blog posts on how to match the particular piece you’re looking for as opposed to where to buy it from.

 

Fashion search engines are not subjected to paid advertisement and only work with actual products. This means their sole purpose is to connect you specifically with the products you’re looking for, based on their relevance to your query. 

How to Use a Fashion Search Engine?

As we’ve discussed above, although more niche and specific in their intent, fashion search engines are nowhere near as sophisticated as Google or Pinterest. This means they are less intuitive and won’t provide you with suggestions that are similar to your query. 

This is still a new technology that’s under development, and therefore the artificial intelligence behind fashion search engines is still learning consumer habits.  This means two things: you need to be very specific in what you’re looking for and the more you search, the quicker engine will learn. 

Are They Trustworthy to Buy From?

First of all, you’re not buying from search engines - you’re buying from retailers they take you to. Going back to Google, if it takes you to Dior’s website, you don’t assume you’re buying from Google because it was there and not on Dior’s site you’ve used the search bar.

Fashion search engines are the same. They simply pull and compile relevant products from across the internet and therefore you’ll be ultimately buying from the original retailer/re-seller. If something goes wrong with that transaction, the search engine holds no responsibility towards any of the parties.

But don’t let that discourage you. Search directories are the oldest internet elements, and they’re very good at filtering out dodgy or scam websites. Fashion ones especially care about their status and have often had big investments in them. Too big to sacrifice their reputation by directing you to a potentially harmful website.

Advantages and Disadvantages 

The key advantage niche search engines have over giants like Google is that they are very specific in what they deliver. Not only are the results presented across the selected industry, but they are also consistent in format and theme. Additionally, specific search engines are more entertaining than traditional ones - they can offer a variety of other functions, ranging from industry news to interactive tools to community outlets.

When it comes to cons, the biggest disadvantage is the novelty. Due to it being a rather new concept branch, it’s not too intuitive and can therefore feel a little clunky. Which, given modern standards of digital experience, to some may appear to be a red flag. Also, since there’s a lack of awareness about the format as a whole, people tend to confuse FSEs with traditional eCommerce sites.

Is Kture a Fashion Search Engine?

Yes, we are! Our niche is the latest designer fashion. Our platform services trustworthy designer shops such as Net-a-Porter and MYTHERESA and also taps into London luxury brand scene to help you discover new and upcoming designers. 

 

In addition, we also have a discussion board for our members and, of course, the blog you’re currently reading. The concept for our website was born due to frustration of how the biggest designer outlets would always have different stock, therefore making it labour to try and find what you’re looking for across multiple sites. 

This is why we found a way to pull them together and make it easy to browse across several designer fashion shops at once. 

Summary

Fashion search engines are a new but already revolutionary concept. It is created for your convenience, aiming to save time and frustration that can arise during internet shopping for specific items. There is still a lot of room for the technology to grow - and your input is what stirs it in the right direction.

Our website is a centralised and easy to browse designer fashion search engine. How are you finding it? Join our forum and let us know.

 

 

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1
VINCE
Faux Leather-trimmed Twill Shirt
NET-A-PORTER • £325
2
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Oscar de la Renta beaded chiffon A-line dress - Blue
FARFETCH • £7,518
3
BOTTEGA VENETA
The Pouch Small Gathered Leather Clutch
NET-A-PORTER • £1,185
4
VEJA
VEJA Campo sneakers - White
FARFETCH • £123
5
LOEWE
LOEWE Circular-sleeve quilted bomber jacket - Blue
FARFETCH • £1,925
1
VINCE
Faux Leather-trimmed Twill Shirt
NET-A-PORTER • £325
2
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Oscar de la Renta beaded chiffon A-line dress - Blue
FARFETCH • £7,518
3
BOTTEGA VENETA
The Pouch Small Gathered Leather Clutch
NET-A-PORTER • £1,185
4
VEJA
VEJA Campo sneakers - White
FARFETCH • £123
5
LOEWE
LOEWE Circular-sleeve quilted bomber jacket - Blue
FARFETCH • £1,925
1
VINCE
Faux Leather-trimmed Twill Shirt
NET-A-PORTER • £325
2
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Oscar de la Renta beaded chiffon A-line dress - Blue
FARFETCH • £7,518
3
BOTTEGA VENETA
The Pouch Small Gathered Leather Clutch
NET-A-PORTER • £1,185
4
VEJA
VEJA Campo sneakers - White
FARFETCH • £123
5
LOEWE
LOEWE Circular-sleeve quilted bomber jacket - Blue
FARFETCH • £1,925

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