In 2016 Instagram, a photo, video & story sharing platform, tested a feature which allowed business accounts to upload a photo and then tag the photo so users could click to access the product. The feature didn’t officially launch to businesses in the US till 2017 and now Instagram’s Shopping feature has been made available for business profiles in eight additional international countries. The countries added to the list are Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
As of now, Instagram doesn’t let you add links to captions. They say it because it disrupts the user experience when scrolling through their appealing design to the eye. Have you ever noticed how well formatted your news feed is? Yeah it’s done on purpose. This shopping feature however makes it incredibly easy for users to follow brands onto e-commerce platforms, driving sales, while keeping users in the app.
It’s honestly a brilliant way for users to target shoppers. When a business posts a Shopping post and the user taps the photos for tags that then pop up to display prices and a link to a new page within the app with a “Shop Now” option, sending users straight to the brand’s own product page. Similar to the way you tag a user and then tap to click their account to follow to their profile.
Since Instagram itself is a business, they have already thought of ways to monetize the feature and earn revenue from businesses by allowing businesses to display shopping posts to users who don’t already follow their account.
As I’ve blogged about previously, Brazil is the second-largest market for Instagram so the reach for this new country is going to create expansion opportunities for lots of brands and retailers alike. Instagram has stated that of its active users, half of them follow Shopping Business accounts.
As reported by Engadget, Lulus a clothing website can credit 1,200 orders and over 100,000 sessions to the feature. Sessions means that even if a customer didn’t make a purchase they still spent time and interest in the product. Instagram is already a key advertising platform, how much easier can it get for businesses?
Jim Squares who is the head of Instagram business said in a press statement that, “People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favorite businesses. We want to be that seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”