Shopping today, isn’t as it used to be. Smartphones and the age of social media have changed how we interact with brands.
Nowadays, shoppers flock towards a seamless shopping experience that can be relayed across platforms and has the least number of steps to purchase. Facebook has been powering this trend for quite a few years. But Instagram, even with its photo sharing feature, couldn’t quite catch up with this trend due to its inability to provide purchasing options to viewers.
Soon enough, the Instagram authorities sat up, paid heed to this problem and came up with a solution that got all the big brands talking.
Instagram has rolled out a new feature called ‘Shoppable Posts’. This allows brands to tag product details in the images and provide a link to the retailer’s page for its quick purchase. While this feature was already available in the USA, the recent launch has been made in 8 countries: the UK, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany, and France.
There’s more to this update than what meets the eye. Let’s find out.
Capitalizing on Instagram Engagement
Instagram boasts more than 800 million monthly active users. To leverage this traffic, brands are investing heavily in their Instagram efforts with strategies that are creative, engaging and out of the box. Among the ones I follow, I have been very impressed with two: The Sill and Gap.
The Sill sells indoor potted plants online. In addition to the high-definition photos on their business profile, The Sill shares short plant care videos on Instagram Stories and use Instagram Live to answer customers’ questions. They also conduct event promotion and have utilized the shopping feature well. Everything is done in a very homely way that customers can connect with. This has helped them gain thousands of followers from all over the world.
Mega-clothier, Gap’s tone is a little different. Every post is innovative and well-thought-out. And interestingly, the team brings each concept alive. Gap’s forte lies in creating micro-series around their campaigns. Each series tells a story which is spread out across a few short and very engaging videos. Gap has more than 2 million followers on Instagram.
So you see, the Instagram experience is all about visual storytelling. If you’ve got it right, you are going to have a landslide of followers. And you can now monetize this high engagement rate with the ‘Shoppable Posts’ update.
Global Instagram Shopping With Shopify
Shopify has announced an integration with Instagram to back its ‘Shoppable Posts’. With this expanded integration, merchants selling in the 8 countries will be able to provide a seamless shopping experience to their customers.
“Shoppers around the world increasingly demand unique experiences that shorten the path to purchase, and the future of commerce will need to meet and exceed these evolving demands. We continue to partner and experiment with leading social platforms to support our merchants in reaching their customers wherever they are”, according to Shopify’s vice-president of Product division, Satish Kanwar, “The expanded collaboration with Instagram is indicative of our commitment to support our merchants in growing their business and reaching more customers globally.”
A Hike in Mobile Sales
This move by Instagram has been made in favor of the mobile-first trend among customers. As of 2017, the amount of mobile revenue generated worldwide was $288 billion. Riding on this success, the ‘Shoppable Posts’ feature is going to be an instant hit among marketers. Brands have already started testing out the waters. For example, Marks & Spencer has already tested Instagram shopping in the UK.
“Instagram shopping offers us the opportunity to realize the huge potential of our 760,000 followers. Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers. Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level”, pointed out Erin Roy, head of media and digital marketing at M&S.
Instagram Australia has joined hands with three companies to test the feature locally. These include PepperMayo, Country Road, and Myer.
Shoppable Instagram posts come with the huge advantage of tracking mobile sales. Marketers can view purchase stats and post performance easily and tweak their digital marketing strategies accordingly. Additionally, retail brands can identify the locations where their maximum sales are generating from and put up brick-and-mortar stores based on this data. All in all, this would facilitate an informed decision-making for marketers.
Tagging Products on Instagram
If you haven’t already started tagging your products on Instagram, now is the time. The first step is to create a business profile. Check out the following video to set up your business profile easily.
Instagram shopping is a huge step towards creating a seamless buying experience for customers. What would come as a bigger news next is how marketers make the most of it.