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Made.com enlists technology to enable visual searches

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Made.com is using new technology to enable shoppers to make visual searches for sofas and storage units.

The furniture retailer, a Top500 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, is using a visual discovery engine from Hullabalook to power the new type of search for homeware products from sofas and chairs to storage units.

Hullabalook claims to revolutionise the search process by reading product descriptions, and analysing product images on behalf of shoppers, transforming them into a visual product discovery experience.

Jonathan Howell, chief technology officer at Made.com, said: “Technology innovation is core to our thinking at Made.com and we're always looking for ways to provide the best customer experience. As our range grows, we are particularly interested in making sure customers can find the right product for them as quickly and easily as possible.

“We worked closely with Hullabalook to create a simple and elegant solution for people who have a specific space in mind for their sofa and want to make sure they buy something that fits. The Sofasizer is unique to Made.com and allows customer to get instant feedback on the items that most closely fit their space and match their colour scheme.”

The Hullabalook visual search experience is delivered via the application of sophisticated natural language processing to analyse product data combined with behavioural analytics from thousands of other shoppers who use the site to find the most suitable product for each set of requirements.

Bryony Elliott, co-founder of Hullabalook, said: “Finding products on retailer websites is much harder than it needs to be. Hullabalook aims to make any product findable in seconds by understanding what is really important to shoppers when they are making purchases.”

Hullabalook is a member of the TrueStart accelerator programme for European technology start-ups in the retail and consumer sectors.

Baz Saidieh, CEO of TrueStart, said: “Hullabalook was born out of a desire to address the consumer pain point of finding and buying products that fit with the specific size and style of our homes. The team has combined state-of-the-art visual tools with artificial intelligence to give retailers a customer centric tool that will not only improve the customer’s buying experience, but increase online sales conversions. At TrueStart, we’re seeing the way buying behaviour is beginning to dictate the way consumers search to purchase. We invested in Hullabalook as we believe that visual search will disrupt and dominate retail strategies in the coming years.”

Hullabalook will be available to customers through a “need a sofa to fit a specific space? Try our new Sofasizer tool” option that will appear on the category and listings pages for sofas and armchairs.

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