ASOS Pioneer Online Fashion with Visual Search Tool

16 August 2017| Post by Graham3 minutes


A new feature has landed on the ASOS app, and we’re convinced it’s going to make our lives a whole lot more exciting.

For the past few years, social media and phone photography have played a big part in marketing and purchasing online fashion. We explored Instagram integration here, which touches on this concept. However, enviously browsing through other people’s nice outfits is a thing of the past. Now, we’re able to shop the outfits we see on social media. Nice one, ASOS.

Style envy

Tagging #topshop or #adidas has become a thing of normality with uploading outfit snaps to social media. But what everyone really needed was a way of going on to actually purchase these outfits. How many times have you wanted to comment on someone’s Instagram asking where they got their t-shirt from, to either be ignored or back down at the last minute? How many times have you been caught out staring at someone for too long because you were trying to figure out where their coat’s from?

All things well and good, we’re hoping this app will end all of these awkward first-world issues.

So how does it work?

If you have the ASOS app on your smartphone, you can upload photos of an outfit or item of clothing you’re lusting after. The new Visual Search tool will show you as many products that are either the same or similar. ASOS sifts through 85,000 of its products and finds your perfect match.

Visual search tool in action on the ASOS app

All you need to do is find the ‘Search’ feature on the app and allow permission for access to your phone’s camera and library. Next, upload a photo of your choice. Check out our example above. Remember that the app can only search for one item at the moment, so maybe just go for one piece at a time. But, as the tool develops, we’re hoping it won’t be long before you can get an ID on entire outfits at once.
It’s almost insane that this has not yet been done before. Once everyone starts using it, it’ll be a wonder how we ever coped before.

Limely give it a go

We thought we’d take some outfit shots at Limely HQ to see how the tool really worked. The results aren’t perfect, but we’re still pretty impressed with what came up.

Niko’s patterned tee brought up some relatively similar results… this is where it’s important to remember that the tool only presents results from the ASOS store itself. It may be tricky to get exactly what you’re after if your clothing piece of choice is detailed and has various elements.

Adam’s plain t shirt generated more accurate results. It gave some different colour variations, too. Not a bad effort!


ASOS have showcased the tool on their website, through a collaboration with Nike. The two brands showcase outfit-of-the-day images, pairing up Nike and ASOS products to create fashion-forward looks. This is a unique marketing tool for both brands, bringing fresh style ideas and a fun new way to browse for the customer. We’re big fans!


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