Rapaport Magazine

Eyes on the Prize: Interview with the CEO of Syte

By Leah Meirovich

Many internet shoppers are looking for products they’ve seen somewhere online, but finding and buying them isn’t always simple. Vered Levy-Ron, CEO of Syte, shares how her platform uses image searches and other visual AI tools to help retailers make that experience smoother.

How does Syte work, and how can it improve business?

As the world’s first product discovery platform, Syte uses visual artificial intelligence (AI) to create intuitive search and discovery experiences for all types of shoppers. Syte’s visual AI was trained to take any image, understand what’s in it, and use that data [to make the search and discovery experience seamless]. Our solutions include visual search, automated product tagging, personalized recommendations, shoppable social curation, and more.

How did you come up with the idea?

It started with a red dress that one of our cofounders saw on Instagram. She wanted to buy it but couldn’t find information on how or where. Each search led to a dead end. She and the other cofounders understood that this frustration was an industry-wide problem that could be solved with visual AI — and thus Syte was born. We started out as an image-search company and have since expanded to a full product-discovery platform.

What are some of the products you offer?

Syte offers an AI-based Visual Discovery suite that helps turn every jewelry item — at every stage in the online buyer journey — into a shoppable and discoverable image. We offer a variety of features, including discovery buttons to find similar items, camera search to upload a photo of jewelry the shopper likes [in order] to find similar items, and advanced personalized recommendations to map shoppers’ intent with items they’ll want to buy. Our visual AI also makes it easy for shoppers to identify, find and buy multiple items within each image.

We also offer an AI-based Deep Tagging and Merchandising suite that automatically augments jewelry images with unique product attributes to improve text search results and increase conversion. This saves time and money in the merchandising process, improves product discoverability, optimizes inventory planning, and helps merchandising teams curate collections instantly and tag new inventory at scale.

What are some of the major problems you see with how retailer websites currently operate?

Shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for because it is difficult to describe jewelry in words. There are a number of professional words used to describe jewelry that are generally unknown to shoppers, leaving them frustrated at not being able to describe their jewelry style.

[Another problem is] high bounce rates from “window shoppers,” because they don’t see anything that inspires them, and get tired of browsing tile after tile of images to find the perfect item.

It’s often difficult and time-consuming to promote excess inventory through e-commerce channels. [Retailers] also need to know how to recommend personalized and relevant offers for shoppers.

What difference do you see it making to sales?

Our customers benefit from greater user engagement, higher conversion rates, increased average order values, and increased average revenues per user. User retention and lifetime value also increase significantly — satisfied shoppers come back!

What’s next for Syte? What other products are you working on?

[Among other things, we are] adding a variety of social commerce and marketing tools that will enable shoppers to find and buy items they love through shoppable stories, user-generated content from Instagram, and personalized email campaigns.

In addition, we’re working with our customers on in-store solutions to help connect shoppers with the full range of available inventories. For example, let’s say you’ve seen a picture of a ring or a necklace that you absolutely love. You head over to a nearby jewelry store with that picture on your phone to look for something similar. If the item is not in the store, the salesperson can search and share similar jewelry via the retailer’s online store.


Image: Syte

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - August 2022. To subscribe click here.

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