Macys to launch visual shopping app


Department store Macy's is to release a new app this festive season, where shoppers take photographs of outfits they like, then upload them online so that the same or similar pieces can be found from existing stock and made instantly available to buy. The app, in partnership with mobile image recognition company Cortexica, was made in Macy's Idea Lab in San Francisco, and uses “findSimilar” software. Cortex also created the “Style Thief” app, launched by Kate Bosworth, and are currently working with Zalando. Other technologically advanced shopping apps are gaining in popularity, from companies such as Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus.

Co-founder of Cortexica Steve Semenzato said the new app will sate the “retail fashion industry’s appetite to have consumers find what they’re looking for in a single click”, and described it as the Shazam of the fashion world.


The software itself copies the method in which the human visual cortex views images, by looking for pieces based on pattern, texture, shape and colour “It gets you to inventory that is similar if not exactly the same,”
Semenzato explained. “That includes snapping photos of higher-priced merchandise at competing retailers to find a similar, more-affordable option” he continued.

Macy's tested it for three months before deciding to proceed with the technology, Kent Anderson president of said “When our customers see a look that they like on friends or on a celebrity, they can directly shop for corresponding products from and buy them without a lengthy search”

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