This is an example of an image that would be a good match for a reverse-image search, since it’s conveying a mood. Andreiuc88 Shutterstock

Stock photo company Shutterstock introduced reverse image search for desktop earlier this spring. This made it easy for users to search Shutterstock’s website with an image, instead of using keywords.

Shutterstock’s VP of Engineering Kevin Lester, who looks closely at the adoption of these new tools, was able to find out what patterns emerge from the data.

In fact, Lester shared with IBTimes, that those who used reverse-image search for searches wound up making more downloads per search than those from a user with a text-based search.

“We’ve found that users who performed at least one reverse image search prior to making a purchase with Shutterstock were 3.49 times more likely to make a subsequent purchase than those who did not,” says Lester.

He also mentioned countries like Russia, India and Turkey, make up a large number of downloads from reverse-image search compared to text searches.

“We have customers from around the world searching for their unique needs. Sometimes those searches can be very specific, or difficult to put into words,” says Lester. “In places like Russia, India, Turkey and other areas, we’ve noticed a rise in adoption and success with reverse image search, a tool that has helped them overcome language barriers that might have impeded their progress.”

“Users in those countries have to hunt harder for an image that matches their preferences. In those cases, the visual search is much better. They are able to kick off a search seeded with their preferred aesthetic so they tend to get better results,” said Lester.

In the U.S., text search still remains the dominant path of search and discovery on the Shutterstock website.

“When I see our customers doing text searches trying to find media - I think, ‘I know we can do so much better than that.’ I get really excited about building discovery experiences, leveraging it, trying to get over that hump.” Lester said.

“I wish I could move as fast as I can to get this done. We have a lot of crazy things cooking here and I wish we could get them all out as quickly as we could. I think it will really be game changers,” said Lester.