Gen AI Search: The Next Evolution of Fashion Search


YesPlz.AI, May 2024

For years, fashion search has been a frustrating experience for both consumers and retailers alike. Traditional search was not designed with the shopper's needs in mind, making it difficult to find items based on specific occasions or to understand preferences expressed in the shopper's natural language.

At YesPlz, we're tapping into the power of generative AI to usher in a new era of fashion search. Our Gen AI fashion search solution taps into shoppers' core needs by removing the frustration associated with the current search experience.

Traditional search today isn’t built to understand how shopper’s truly search. But, with YesPlz Gen AI fashion search, that’s about to change.

A Brief History of Fashion Search (Before Gen AI in Fashion):

Before we dive into the details of why Gen AI in fashion is so exciting, it’s important to understand how fashion search has evolved over time. 

We can break down the evolution of eCommerce search engines into 3 waves:

Search engine evolution for fashion eCommerce

Wave 1: In the early (2010) days of product search, retailers used Elastic, a general text search  performing basic search functions. However, it became burdensome for retailers to integrate into their websites–and lacked optimization

Wave 2: Then, Algolia and Bloomreach innovated in text search, providing optimized text search on the cloud complete with an API, optimization specifically for eCommerce, and a UI package to make search more user-friendly.

Wave 3: We’re currently living through one of the most powerful transformations of fashion search as we know it. Generative AI fashion search is the most powerful search engine available. It’s powered by multimodal (both image and text). And most importantly, Generative AI search for eCommerce is trained on domain-specific AI–so no more general search models. 

The result: Generative AI search can understand shoppers’ unique fashion queries that go beyond product-based search, creating the most advanced search experience. We’ll explain more below.

The Problems with Today’s Fashion Search Experience

Even with two waves of evolution, today’s search still frustrates shoppers. But why?

The problem with today’s search is that it can’t understand complex search queries, which is the way shoppers really search. Traditional search engines like Algolia or Elastic search are based on text matching, which is beneficial when searching for exact keyword matches for products (for example: ‘white pants', ‘hoodie’, or ‘dresses’).

However, based on YesPlz’s extensive research into the minds of shoppers, that’s not how shoppers actually search. After analyzing over 1000 user prompts, we learned that shoppers want to search by occasion, personal attributes, and style aspirations

Here’s how shoppers really search:

“A glam-style dress for a cocktail party”

“What is old money look?” 

“Cute sundress for beach vacation”

Unfortunately, text-matching search products aren’t powerful enough to understand shoppers’ unique and often complex search queries, leaving them with inaccurate and even dead-end search results.


The Immediate Benefits of Gen AI Fashion Search

The next evolution of fashion search, powered by generative AI, has immediate benefits for retailers and shoppers, making the process of intuitively searching for products easier and frictionless. 


These benefits include:

Contextual Understanding for More Accurate Search Results: Gen AI can interpret a shopper’s intent, specifically in the context of creating fashion styling from a user query. Search results have a unique sense of style based on the shopper's intent.

Shoppers can use their natural language to search: Because of Gen AI’s ability to interpret natural language, shoppers aren’t stuck trying to guess the magical combination of keywords they need to type to see results. Instead, Gen AI can understand how shoppers speak, so they can shop more naturally.

High Typo Tolerance: Shoppers don’t need to type in their query perfectly or know how to hyphenate a complicated name. Gen AI search can understand and interpret typos, so shoppers still receive accurate results. This means retailers don't have to update the text search engine with all possible typos -- it's such a hassel, we've been there!


Text search vs Gen AI search with a typo

Complete Outfit Suggestions for Comprehensive Shopping: Shoppers often prefer to see what an entire outfit would look like, instead of standalone product results. Gen AI can understand the context of a shopper query and recommend a complete look. 

Occasion and Trending Style Search: A shopper can search for styles related to specific occasions like night out or workwear, or even find the latest styles that are trending (like “old money”).

How does today’s text search compare with YesPlz Gen AI search?

‘Cute summer outfits with wide pants’

empty search results for fashion brands

With Gen AI Search – shows entire outfits highly relevant to the search query, possibly discovering styles otherwise would have missed.

Gen AI Search engine for a fashion style query

In the example above, the shopper is looking for “cute summer outfits with wide pants”--a seemingly complex query. 


It’s not uncommon for shoppers to create a search query with multiple components. If we break up the search, we can see that the shopper is looking for occasion (summer), vibe (cute), and a specific style (wide pants)--and they want a full outfit.

Today’s text search simply isn’t advanced enough to understand the meaning of this type of query, and leaves the shopper with a dead-end result.

In comparison, YesPlz’s Gen AI Search is designed to understand these types of searches, and generate multiple outfit ideas that are relevant and on-trend.

Gen AI Search creates entire outfits highly relevant to the search query, and even discovers styles that otherwise would have been missed by traditional text search


‘Glam style cocktail party’ 

After asking YesPlz Gen AI Search to create a “glam style” for a “cocktail party,” we can see that the AI can understand the user’s intent, occasion, and instantly create an on-target ensemble that has an element of style to it.

Generative AI in fashion search results for glam style outfits

Notably, the AI can understand the language and the context of the search

What if a shopper wants to ask: ‘What’s the old money look style?’ 

generative ai in fashion search for trend styles

Using a Gen AI search engine is advantageous for retailers who want to keep up with the latest trends in fashion, but don’t have the time or resources to manually add product tags.

In the example above, the Gen AI understands the context of the search (the shopper wants to see examples of old money style), what old money style is, and which products in the retailer’s catalog fit the search parameters.

This type of complex, layered search would be beyond the capability of a traditional search engine.

Plus, YesPlz’s Gen AI search includes easy-to-navigate UI: Shoppers can click on the products and go directly to product detail pages to learn more. 


How is YesPlz’s Gen AI search built? (YesPlz’s Secret Sauce)


YesPlz Gen AI Search based on multimodal and domain-specialized fashion AI. That means the AI is trained with both image and textual data. And, because the AI is trained on domain specialized fashion AI, the AI understands the specific language and context related to fashion, trends, and style.


Equipped with an LLM, YesPlz Gen AI Search understands a shopper’s intent and can start to make smart styling suggestions immediately.

The Process for Generating Search Results: 

1- While one type of AI is analyzing the shopper’s intent, another AI is scanning through the retailer’s entire catalog, remembering everything about the product including design details, vibes, and occasions. If any product subcategories are missing, the AI can generate the information automatically.

2- Then, the fashion AI matches the best products from the catalog to the shopper’s search query by understanding the search intent and the implied styles and context from the search

3- While complex AI works behind the scenes, the experience is seamless for shoppers–they simply type in their preferred search terminology and instantly receive curated, on-trend styling suggestions that match their prompt.

Seamless Integration for eCommerce Websites:

Generative AI Search integration process to fashion websites

The integration process for retailers is seamless:

1- Retailers provide product IDs and images, through either an API. 

2- Between a few hours and a few weeks later, YesPlz AI finishes studying the entire catalog.

3- Retailers simply install the widget which is provided by YesPlz.

After 3 easy steps, retailers are ready to show shoppers the most advanced fashion search, while letting the AI do all of the heavy lifting. 

Are you ready for the future of search? We’re living in unprecedented times– in the middle of a major tech evolution for search. 

As a retailer, you want to stay ahead of the curve to make sure your shoppers get the best possible shopping experience–and to have a unique competitive advantage in crowded markets.

By using YesPlz Gen AI search, you’re unlocking the latest in fashion trends, intuitive search, and fashion styling for your shoppers, leaving them more likely to convert and come back for more.

We’re working with innovative fashion retailers and brands, and ready to launch for your brand
Contact us today for a free personalized consultation to learn more  

 Curious to join the next evolution of fashion search?Schedule a demo 


by YesPlz.AI

We build the next gen visual search & recommendation for online fashion retailers

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