Shopping Via Your Social Network – Instagram Launches ‘Shop’ Feature

Calling all shopaholics. Prepare to shop straight from your feed.  Instagram is reinventing the meaning of window shopping. Making all of those shoe-envy likes a thing of the past, as we wave goodbye to the clunky ‘link in bio’ pathway and look forward to simplified onsite buying.

After a year-long trial in the US, Instagram is spreading its ‘shoppable’ tags to eight other countries as it preempts a potential global roll-out. As of March 20th, Instagram has expanded its in-app shopping feature to businesses in Australia, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, making it easier for brands to direct shoppers to their online storefronts without compromising on the time users spend on the app itself.

Until now, third-party services on Instagram have been available to make posts ‘shoppable’, but after a successful introduction in the US, the new feature allows users to shop directly by using virtual price tags that are overlaid onto posts.

What does this mean for online retailers?

The new Insta ‘Shop’ interface enables retailers to add links to the product on their own sites. Now sellers can tag up to five products per single image post or 20 products per multi-image post. Once an account has posted nine times, the option to ‘Shop’ becomes available, letting users scroll through all tagged for-sale items. Instagram will not be charging businesses or consumers for the service, and at present it only applies to organic rather than sponsored content. This presents the little guy (start-ups and small businesses) to reach consumers directly. At present Insta-shopping is restricted to clothing and beauty products.

At present, Shopping on Instagram posts can be viewed directly via your feed, through  a search for the brand’s business profile, or through a direct message or a notification. All shopping posts are specifically marked with a little ‘shopping bag’ icon, so they are super easy to identify as you scroll through your feed.

Sales at the UK’s 20 biggest online-only retailers grew 23% from 2016 – 2017. Anticipating this growth to continue into 2018, online-only retailers will be able to utilise the platforms new easy shopping feature and just in time for new season shopping. From annual wardrobe updates and seasonal spring cleaning to Easter must-haves and Father’s Day treats, shopping the latest trends just got easier!