We talk to Sebastian Spiegler, the founder of brand-new product search and discovery platform for e-commerce Cadeera, and hear how he is looking to change the way consumers find products online, using images instead of search terms. Photograph by Krzysztof Frankiewicz.
Q: So how did Cadeera come about?
A: I have been working in start-ups, deep tech and venture capital for more than 10 years after an academic career in Artificial Intelligence. Alongside my fast-moving job in tech, one of my hobbies has been searching for and collecting rare vintage furniture pieces. However, I’ve often been frustrated with the user experience on major e-commerce platforms – you’ve seen it somewhere, you don’t really know what it’s called, or sometimes you just need some inspiration. Even with all the technology available today, we’re still ending up typing keywords into search bars and scrolling through hundreds of irrelevant results. In fact, a recent study showed that poor personalisation and search experience lead to more than 15% of lost opportunities in e-commerce.
Q: Can you tell us in layman’s terms exactly what Cadeera is?
A: I founded Cadeera in early 2020 to create an AI powered product search and discovery platform for retail to solve these problems. Since then we have built a next-generation engine that analyses clients’ inventories of product images and descriptions, identifies and links products in style images, and compares products based on their physical attributes and visual features. For example, it can identify vintage-style crosshead taps, or contemporary handleless cabinetry, if that’s what the user is leaning towards in their visual online journey. This allows Cadeera to combine intelligent visual and semantic search with personalisation to change the way we explore, discover, and get inspired. We are looking to completely reimagine the way people search and discover things.
Q: So how does it work and how do consumers engage with it?
A: Cadeera delivers three primary capabilities:
1. Product search and discovery through an intuitive search experience, which enables customers to find the products they are looking for as quickly as possible, using images rather than keywords and text-based filters.
2. Our ‘Deja-vu’ engine, a module which allows the user to take a picture and find products as close as possible in the inventory.
3. Data quality, a module that addresses one of the most fundamental issues clients are experiencing around data entry, labelling errors and missing values.
Overall, we are helping consumers to understand their preference and desired style through visual clues, effectively leveraging imagery retailers already have and making these images shoppable. We achieve all of this by applying state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning algorithms to analyse product images, description and user interactions. The technology complements and can easily be integrated into existing e-commerce solutions, immediately enhancing the shopping experience.
Q: How can this benefit kitchen and bathroom retailers specifically, and why should they get on board?
A: Today, customers are much more confident in buying kitchen and bathroom products online, and COVID has accelerated this. This is only going to gain momentum – just having a simplistic website presence or a catalogue online is no longer enough for retailers to differentiate themselves. Cadeera allows kitchen and bathroom retailers to personalise the shopping experience, engage customers and increase purchase confidence.