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‘Image Search’ and ‘Find Similar’: Two Powerful Tools for Efficient Sourcing on Alibaba.com

In today’s digital age, brands and businesses are constantly searching for new products and comparing them to others in order to stay competitive. But without the right tools, sourcing can become ineffective and time consuming. In order to help retailers find the right products quickly and easily, this article will explain two of the most efficient search features that can be used to improve your sourcing process on Alibaba.com.

Table of Contents
‘Image Search’ on Alibaba.com
‘Find Similar’ on Alibaba.com
It’s time to start exploring

‘Image Search’ on Alibaba.com

When businesses source on Alibaba.com, they may quickly get lost in a sea of text descriptions. This is why the “Image Search” function has become a popular way to improve the sourcing efficiency of buyers. This powerful search function can be a good source of inspiration when monitoring social media and ecommerce platforms for new product arrivals and trends. Another advantage of the “Image Search” function is its ability to find products without typing a single word. Buyers can simply upload an image and they’ll find instant matches to explore for new ideas. 

Business buyers can use the “Image Search” function to find products based on their photos, but what exactly does that mean? And how can it help them source efficiently? Let’s take a look at some examples of when businesses might want to use this tool!

1. Find identical or similar items

Searching for a specific product by keywords can be time-consuming. For example, if a business buyer is trying to find a women’s bag in a certain style and color, they will need to browse countless search pages or add design descriptions to find what they are looking for. With the “Image Search” tool, the search process becomes more efficient. Buyers can quickly find products that are the same or similar to the uploaded images in one simple step, which then calls up results from multiple suppliers to help make side-by-side comparisons.

Orange handbag with a goldish chain
Screenshot showcasing similar products to the orange handbag

Image search results can make it easy to discover new product ideas and trends in just a few clicks. For example, if a fashion retailer is browsing social media to get inspiration for new product styles, they can simply take a screenshot of what inspires them and then input that image into the “Image Search” tool in order to find similar items.

Screenshot of similar products to orange women’s dress

Searching for a specific item without knowing its related keywords can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. For example, there are many oral hygiene products available in the oral product industry, from water flossers to toothbrushes. In addition, the same product might be marketed under several names. Thankfully, the “Image Search” tool can help buyers narrow down the search scope and quickly find what they are looking for, without having to worry about spelling the product’s name correctly.

Now that we have seen the benefits and various uses of the “Image Search” tool, it’s time to learn how to use it on Alibaba.com. It only takes three steps:

  1. Open Alibaba.com’s app and tap the “Image Search” icon, as shown in the image below;
  2. Search for similar items using an uploaded product image or screenshot from the phone;
  3. Get search results in seconds and start browsing the related products.
Screenshot showcasing the image search icon next to handbags

Before diving in and trying to experiment with this agile tool, here are three tips to help optimize the search results:

  • Snap a picture with the product in focus. it’s important to make sure that the product is clearly visible and identifiable in the photo.
  • Select the specific product in the image. If there is more than one product in the photo, use the default cutout area or manually crop the image.
  • Avoid using blurry or dark photos as they can affect the search results. It’s best to take photos in natural light and make sure they are clear.
Three tips on how to use the image search

‘Find Similar’ on Alibaba.com

When browsing products on Alibaba.com, buyers can have a difficult time finding similar or related products to those they are interested in. This is where the “Find Similar” function comes into play. This tool helps buyers make faster and more informed decisions when sourcing from Alibaba.com.

Screenshot showing how to use the ‘find similar’ function

The benefits of ‘Find Similar’

Buyers previously had to go through a tedious process to find similar products. Traditional search methods can be inefficient and time-consuming when trying to compare a large number of “similar products”. This is where the “Find Similar” function comes in handy, as it enables buyers to quickly locate other products that are similar or related to items they’re already interested in. All they have to do is click the “Find Similar” icon on one of the search results to discover and compare similar products based on price, material, design, etc.

a table showing the advantages of "Find Similar"

How to use ‘Find Similar’

The best part about the “Find Similar” function is that it’s completely hands-off. With the click of a button (), buyers can find all the results that are similar to their product and choose what’s best for them.

Step 1: Tap the “Find Similar” icon on the product photo in search results to begin searching for similar products. This icon can also be found next to the recommended items.

Step 2: Explore the two tabs under the reference product.

  • From more suppliers: clicking this tab will show products of the same type from other suppliers, which is helpful when comparing prices.
  • Similar products: clicking this tab will show products that have a similar style or design, which is great for those looking for inspiration.
Screenshot of the tabs ‘from more suppliers’ and ‘similar products

It’s time to start exploring

These search functions can save buyers a lot of time in the long run, making sourcing on Alibaba.com easier and more efficient. But the best way to learn about these tools is by using them. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different images and products, and check the blog center for more tips on how to get started on Alibaba.com! 

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