Look out, Amazon and brick-and-mortar shopping malls! Instagram is gunnin’ for ya–and hot on your heels!
A few weeks ago, Instagram announced plans to expand its product-tagging features to let retailers sell their products on the platform.
In 2018, Instagram rolled out features that made it possible for users to “shop” posts in their feed. The 2018 features let users see product names and pricing, but they had to leave Instagram to buy whatever caught their eye.
By contrast, the newest shopping feature–which is set to roll out universally later this year–will let users check out directly from Instagram.
According to Instagram, more than 130 million users access existing product tags every month. But access wasn’t enough. Users complained about the buying process, which spurred Instagram to release the new functionality.
“Instead of having to go through this clunky mobile web flow and checking out, you can now check out directly on Instagram,” Ashley Yuki, Instagram Product Management Lead, explained.
Although Instagram plans to make this new feature available to all retailers in the coming months, for now it’s testing the new functionality with 20 big brands including Burberry, Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, Outdoor Voices, Uniqlo and Warbly Parker.
According to Wired, “For brands, it’s like opening a storefront in a shopping center where the customers who are most likely to buy from them are automatically directed to their front door.”
Because Instagram collects data on user behavior (profiles followed, links clicked, product and brand mentions, etc.), it can easily leverage the information to display ads and posts to the users who are most likely interested in the products or services a business offers.
The new feature will improve the user experience and increase conversions – and sales! – for businesses.
Check out the demo Instagram provided to see how the integration will work:
- Although the new shopping feature won’t be available to most small business owners until later this year (2019), start watching, right now, how the big brands use the functionality to engage potential customers and sell their products. And take careful note about how bigger brands educate their potential customers about using the new functionality.
- Brainstorm ideas about the products or services you may want to sell using the new feature when it’s available to you.
- Stay on top of updates about the roll-out of this new functionality so you can take advantage of it as soon as possible, if you’ve determined it’s a good fit for your business.