Shopping Coming to Instagram: What it means for businesses!

Categories Instagram Marketing

Instagram announced a couple of days back that it is testing more features for in-app product shopping in a continued effort to improve the platform for retailers. In a post on the company’s business blog*, Instagram explained the new features will allow retailers to tag products in photos.

For a week in May, some of Instagram’s designers, engineers and product managers met at a rented house, stocked with grocery store snacks. There, away from computers and armed with pencil and paper, they explored a question important for the photo-sharing app’s future: how do we get our users to shop? They came up with 150 ideas. After an extensive process of elimination, the team settled on the design being unveiled this week: letting brands tag products in their photos, the way users tag their friends. Tap on the tagging descriptions to get more information, tap again to buy on the retailer’s site.

Here is our takedown on how this feature will help businesses and retailers!

How it works?

Most businesses are familiar with the benefits of making websites shoppable by showcasing the social proof, such as customer testimonials, or Instagram galleries. Instagram has now opened up another channel to engage your users in the app itself.

The design of shoppable photos is simple, lightweight and intuitive. The retailers can tag products in their photos, which are hidden behind a “Tap to view products” button. When you tap on the tag button at the bottom left of the photo, a tag appears on various products in the post—showcasing up to five products and their prices. In that sense, they don’t feel intrusive and don’t spoil the experience of viewing a beautiful image. Then, if the consumer taps the Shop Now link from the product details view, they’ll go directly to that product on the business’ website, making it easier for them to buy the product they want.



What it means to retailers?

  • Seamless product discovery:

People have long been shopping on Instagram without a formal way to buy things. Interestingly, 60% of Instagrammers say they learn about products and services on the app, while 75% say they take actions like visiting sites, searching, or telling a friend after being influenced by a post on Instagram. Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective channels to create unique content and grab user attention. Brands are increasingly spending resources to create authentic user generated content. Company researchers have noticed that users take screenshots of products they love, or direct-message them to themselves. With this feature, the process of discovering new and relevant product becomes smooth and seamless. It will also encourage impulse buying behaviour, creating huge value for retailers. Now, Instagrammers won’t have to go through the hassle of opening a separate browser app, which is a time-consuming and tedious process, simply to view the product.



  • No more “Check Link in Bio”

In an internal study done by Instagram, it noted that most mobile shopping experiences today take people from the shop window right to check out—without giving consumers the opportunity to consider a product and get more information. The vast majority of purchases take a day or longer, with only 21% of purchases made within a day. Thanks to shoppable tags, the user journry will become more organic and intuitive. Moreover, brands won’t have to resort to clumsy “check link in bio” captions on their photos, since Instagram doesn’t allow links in organic posts, and only lets profiles include a single URL.



  • The quality of content will matter even more:

What it also means is that posting quality and authentic content will become more valuable and rewarding. Why? Since photos are now shoppable, the high-quality posts and photos, that receive more eyeballs, are more likely to bring users to your product. Businesses focusing on creating authentic user generated content will greatly benefit from this feature. Shoppable photos on Instagram will seamlessly complement with the shoppable social proofs and galleries on the storefronts, creating a two-way bridge to engage your users on multiple channels.

Embracing shopping seems like the natural progression for Instagram since it already has a huge influence on commerce. While doing so, it hasn’t compromised on the user experience, keeping it clean and simple. It will be interesting to see what future possibilities open up and how retailers leverage this huge opportunity.

Sources: *

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