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17 November 2016

Instagram makes moves into e-commerce

I’m pretty confident that I don’t need to explain to anyone reading this what Instagram is. If I do, I’m guessing you have either been trapped on an island for a very long time or confused your phone with a potato, and for either of those reasons you have my sympathy (depending what kind of island you were trapped on).Instagram recently rolled out a new feature to a small amount of IOS users in the United States. The feature allows for shoppable posts within the app. This means that advertisers can feature up to 5 products and the user can tap the images, to find out more details and continue their user journey to the store to purchase the item. 

This is a colossal movement to position Instagram within the e-commerce world...


With an average of 100 million daily active users, you can see why making shopping a larger part of the platform makes perfect sense. Instagram are currently trialing this with 20 companies such as Macy’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Levi's. The platform will be able to share important product information with consumers from within the app, which means the user experience will be more fluid and one that’ll lend itself to an increase in sales.


Instagram stated that after some research, it showed only 21% of mobile purchases are made within any given day, which for the tech savvy world we live in is a very low statistic. 

“While browsing and discovery is easy on mobile, finding more information about the specific product you see isn’t always as simple. On a platform known for its power of mobile discovery, today we’re excited to announce an easier experience to shop the products you love on Instagram,” Instagram stated in a blog post.

As it stands, this is purely for organic posts and not sponsored ones. However, I think we can all agree that further down the line Instagram will heavily monetise this and I wouldn’t blame them at all for doing so. There will be companies willing to shell out thousands to reach their prime demographic with this simple way of shopping.


So… although this is currently in its trial stages and only available to a small percentage of people in the United States, what does this mean for your business? I can personally see this update happening a lot quicker than you would imagine. You should start looking at your current Instagram strategy and how this can be improved to tie in with the potential new update. For a quick insight into using Instagram for business, check out our previous blog.

You’ll want to ensure your Instagram page’s strategy is in full flow when the switch happens, so you have a kick ass plan in place. Then, when you can turn-on the new feature, your audience will be instantly engaged and ready to part with their hard-earned cash.


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