This New Visual Search Engine Will Transform the Way You Shop Online

street style fashion weekPhoto: Imaxtree

The word “game-changing” is thrown around pretty freely when it comes to new fashion apps, but it’s not often you actually stumble upon a company that’s literally transforming the way people buy clothes. Cue Donde Fashion, the world’s first visual shopping search engine—and the newest app addition to our smartphones.

Until now the only way to search for clothes online is by using keywords like “v-neck” or “midi length,” however Donde is changing all that by using visual cues to help you find exactly what you’re shopping for from over 6,000 fashion and accessory brands worldwide.

The founder, Liat Zakay, comes from a different background than most fashion entrepreneurs—she was a coder in the Israel Intelligence before starting Donde. However, she came up with the app idea after an experience most of us are familiar with: snooping her sister’s closet and wanting to buy everything she found.

“It’s funny, I got the idea from my big sister,” Zakay explained to us. “She’s eight years older than me and I’m always admiring her sense of style and trying to find outfits like hers. I found that it takes so much time to search for pieces like hers and I was very frustrated by the experience. When we think of outfits we think of the way they look, not the words that you need to describe it, and so many people don’t know what the correct phrases are to search for the style and shape they want.”

donde fashion This New Visual Search Engine Will Transform the Way You Shop OnlinePhoto: Donde Fashion/iTunes

Donde’s seriously simple and intuitive: After downloading it (it’s free), you’ll be guided by illustrations to select what type of garment or accessory you want, and then to flick through some colors to pick a shade you like.

Next, you can opt to refine your search by the length, cut, sleeve, neckline, or other extra details by swiping along a banner at the top and choosing an illustration that matches what you’re after. Instantly, thousands of products matching your description will appear, which you can then filter by price or brand, and finally tap to purchase through the app.

“You only need to put in your shipping and credit card information once, so you just have a few clicks between searching for something and actually checking out directly through the Donde app,” Zakay added.

 Photo: Donde Fashion/iTunes Photo: Donde Fashion/iTunes

While Zakay is the mastermind behind this concept, it took a team of seven staffers working on the app for a year and a half to get it ready for launch. A huge focus for the team was accuracy—making sure your search results exactly match what you had in mind.

To nail this element, Donde uses advanced artificial intelligence to crawl the web and extract data from the image and text on shopping sites. While most online stores are based just on keywords, Zakay’s team developed a way to actually analyze the image and the text to determine whether an item is, for example, an A-line skirt or a pencil skirt.

“Textual based search just pulls up all they key words that match what you type, however a lot of retailers and brands don’t say in the text exactly what’s rights, and often the product description is missing key features. The idea behind what we do is that we create this common language between all those thousands of retailer and brands that considers more than just key words and makes search more accurate,” Zakay explained.

Right now more than six thousand brands are available to browse and buy, ranging from Stella McCartney to Forever 21. Importantly, the app is completely free for shoppers, so clothes cost exactly the same through Donde as they would if you bought them directly via the retailer.

Also, although you can directly check out through the app, your order is shipped and processed by the original retailer, which means you’re eligible for their returns and exchange policy.

Like we said, this new app is completely game-changing—and it’s also available for iOS right now, so head this way and test it out for yourself.