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Jessica London adds image recognition technology for easier catalog shopping

Plus-size women’s fashion retailer Jessica London has updated its iPhone app to include image recognition technology to enhance the catalog shopping experience.

Customers can use the app on their iPhones to snap a photo of any product in the Jessica London catalog and instantly find out more about the item. The goal is to make it easier for users to shop for items they are interested in.

“We think that the image recognition that we are using, which recognizes the image of the product, as opposed to scanning a bar code, is more friendly to a fashion consumer,” said John Mallon, senior vice president and general brand manager for Jessica London, New York.

“Rather than scanning one of the different types of codes, all she has to do is scan the picture,” he said. “This connects her more to the imagery and the branding of the business.”

Unified experiences
The new feature is geared toward consumers on-the-go by giving them the flexibility to shop anywhere at any time.

Users who snap a picture of an item in the Jessica London catalog are taken to the product page for that item. The item can then be purchased directly from the iPhone.

The image recognition technology is embedded in the app.

Mr. Mallon expects the enhanced app will drive mobile sales by helping to present a unified cross-channel experience.

“The goal is to integrate all of our channels,” Mr. Mallon said. “We have a print channel, which drives a lot of our ecommerce and mobile sales – image recognition technology is a step toward keeping them all integrated.”

“This helps us present one brand image.”

The Jessica London app was first introduced in July. It is free to download in the iTunes App Store.

The brand’s plans for mobile in the coming year include further enhancing the shopping experience by improving the navigation on its mobile site to make it more in line with its ecommerce site in terms of the visual experience.

Jessica London is available online at the Jessica London Web site, via a mobile site as well as apps for the iPhone and iPad. The brand is part of Redcats USA, which owns numerous online and catalog brands.

“When we were a catalog business, the catalog was the store,” Mr. Mallon said. “As we evolved to do the majority of our sales on the Web, the catalog evolved into an advertising piece and online was the store.

“Mobile is the next stage in the progression,” he said. “It enables our customers to interact with all of our channels at her convenience.”

 “The app is a key element to continuing to push the mobile channel and a step toward keeping the brand current and looking forward,” Mr. Mallon said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York