Instagram has launched its very own shopping channel enabling products to be purchased directly from their site. Brands such as M&S, Heidi Klein and Mahabis have recently been enticed to the platform with its use of shopping ads, with the ability to tag products for purchase on the site. The introduction of this service in the UK follows its success from its inception in the US in 2017.
The advantage of using Instagram for shopping is that product pricing and product info is all readily accessible with no time consuming research needed. Users can simply tap on a tagged post within their feed to buy a specific product directly from the brand’s website, without having to search for it. This is good for brands as the easier it is for the consumer the more likely they are to make a purchase. A particular brand which showcases its success is online retailer Lulus which made roughly 1,200 orders and 100,000 visits to their website through the new service. Around two thirds of visits to business profiles are from new potential customers. This gives an insight into how effective Instagram is for making new customers. Businesses will also soon be able to get insights from their audience such as how many clicked on ‘product details’ or the ‘shop now’ button. Knowing the audience is a vital component and will enable them to make more relevant content.
High street giant Marks & Spencer was one of the first three businesses to take part in the UK test phase of the Shopping function. Erin Roy, head of media and digital marketing at Marks & Spencer commented: “Instagram Shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers. Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers. Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level. They are simple to create, easy for our customers to use and enhance the Instagram experience.”
The rise of Ecommerce on Instagram represents a good opportunity to rival Snapchat who also offer brands the chance to feature links to purchases. Snapchat has also recently introduced its first store which sells their own merchandise, which could eventually pave the way for brands and advertisers to sell in the app.
This new Instagram feature provides a visual store for products. It strengthens people’s relationships with the brands they love by creating more opportunities to discover and explore products in a simpler fashion.