Instagram Ventures Into Shopping With New Mobile Features

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Instagram releases a new shopping feature that allows users to purchase items without ever leaving the social media photo sharing application.

On Tuesday, Instagram released a new shopping feature in association with 20 different retail brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, Kate Spade, Macy’s and Michael Kors.

Instagram will release start testing as early as next week. According to a statement released by Instagram, the new feature works by enabling special Instagram shopping posts, also known as shoppable posts,  to have a “tap to view” icon on the bottom left of the photo. When a user taps the icon, a tag will appear showing all the shoppable products in the post. At the moment, a brand can include up to 5 different products in a single photo. Users will then be able to see the prices of each item. After a user selects the tag of a specific product, a detailed description of the production will appear along with a “Shop Now” button directing a user to the brand’s website.

While the feature is currently available only to iOS users, retailers can tag products in their photos, and then allow users to buy those items on the Instagram app.

This new Instagram features provides new shopping benefits for companies and Instagrammers, by allowing for product pages to load quicker on the app without making users leave the website to a slower loading application, this would in theory lead to higher conversion shopping rates for businesses. If users do not feel like buying the product, they can easily swipe back and enjoy their news feed.

At the moment, Instagram is not planning on taking a percentage of the purchases but, the social photo sharing platform plans on using the new feature as a new type of advertisement product. In the future, Instagram plans on allowing other companies to showcase products to users who do not currently follow them. It is important to point out that Instagram currently has nearly a half million different advertisers buying advertisements.

According to a study run by Instagram, 60 percent of people who use Instagram say they learn about products and services on the app, while 75 percent say they take actions like visit websites, search, or tell a friend after being influenced by a post seen on the social media platform. In addition, e-commerce studies have shown that the fewer steps it takes for someone to buy a product online, the higher the revenue a company earns. In fact, Amazon’s patented one-click buying system has translated to billions of dollars worth of revenues and e-commerce shopping, according to recent studies.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s video sharing application Vine, a former competitor to Instagram, announced it was coming to an end after Twitter executives announced plans on increasing revenue by cutting nearly 10 percent of their workforce.

While Vine is closing up shop, new fashion designers and businesses will soon be able to showcase their products to people all over the world via Instagram.

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