by Erika Racicot

    Delivering The Want Engine

    The truth is, impulse can be a near uncontrollable urge, especially when it comes to shopping. From candy at the checkout aisle, to a sweater on a mannequin as you walk by the window, impulse is what drives us to buy. Capitalizing on that impulse to buy and providing a seamless gateway which enables retailers to be there at that moment, has been the foundational promise of Slyce.

    Scanning The Real World

    The world has fallen for mobile devices and this is becoming increasingly true with each passing day. Our phones have truly become an extension of who we are. Increasingly indispensible as a tool used to navigate our days, we now rely on having constant, unlimited access to information in the palm of our hands.

    At Slyce we understood early on that if we wanted to truly access the impulsive nature of purchasing, it had to come through accessing the mobile space. In the United States alone, consumers spent about $37.5 billion via their smartphones and tablets in 2013. For many brands and retailers looking for a slice of the mobile commerce pie, it’s been a steep learning curve. Platforms and systems designed originally for desktop shopping, were hastily used also as mobile solutions. The fact is, there are fundamental differences in how people using their mobile devices out in the real world want to search for and view the products they are interested in. Therefore, to truly understand this mobile consumer and create an intuitive and seamless experience for them, we developed a way they can see an item they love, wherever they might be, and with a few taps of their smartphone, own that product. We feel this is an incredibly powerful tool for both consumers and retailers. Capturing a person’s desire to purchase at the moment it strikes them, was the inspiration behind developing Slyce as “The Want Engine”.

    Finding The Niche

    Finding the right market to claim as your own makes all the difference when it comes to user adoption. For Slyce there were two areas that stood out immediately and coincided perfectly: women and fashion. Fashion is a constantly shifting and evolving marketplace where products and industry trends change rapidly. For Slyce this meant our Visual Intelligence systems had to be highly agile; able to adapt and refine within a changing market. Being able to look at a picture of any item of clothing, taken in almost any real world setting, analyze it and return a purchasable match, was the goal with Slyce. With our launch into existing retail platforms such as the Neiman Marcus App NM, it is that we have realized.

    Building Support

    Slyce, much like the visual search industry is built on the idea of progress over perfection. Finding a niche in the fashion industry means building a technology that can learn, grow and recognize patterns and inputs. To do this we had to create a robust and scalable system, which allowed for the categorization of an almost infinite number of products as well as the technological analysis of visual items. To do that, we knew we needed a lot of talent and a lot of space.

    Further to the Toronto-based headquarters, Slyce recently opened up a human computing lab in New Waterford, Nova Scotia. This team of 60+ people, operating on and around-the- clock schedule is focused almost entirely around the categorization of images received from our clients. Slyce is able to analyze every image that comes through our system and find a categorical match that feeds into the machine learning system. The company is building a visual intelligence system from the ground up, one designed specifically for each of our commercial client’s requirements and the way their customers want to find the products they desire.

    Slyce has successfully delivered “The Want Engine” and built an incredibly strong foundation for moving visual search forward. Over the coming years as it grows, adapts and matures, consumers become used to being able to simply snap and search wherever they might be.

    Erika Racicot is the Chief Operations Officer at Slyce. To learn more about Slyce go to Slyce.it

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