Instagram announced a new shopping feature in March, allowing users to purchase items directly from their app. It’s the latest in a series of updates on the platform, aiming to blur the lines between social media and ecommerce. But what does it mean for ecommerce brands?
In this post, we’ll discuss how it could change ecommerce and how you can get involved. Read on for our beginner’s guide to social ecommerce.
Instagram has quickly become one of the largest, most popular social media sites, with over 1 billion worldwide users. Brands from across the globe use the photo-sharing app to build a following, increase customer loyalty and show off their new products. But this new feature aims to take it one step further.
After listening to their users and taking their suggestions on board, Instagram decided to take the big step towards integrated shopping. “Before we even did anything people were trying to shop for products on Instagram,” explains Instagram product management leader, Ashley Yuki.
Not only can users follow their favourite brands, look for inspiration on their stories and follow links to their most-wanted products, they can now checkout and order their favourites without having to leave the site. By storing credit card information, Instagram can also make it easier for shoppers to repurchase products without having to re-input their information.
With over 80% of Instagram users actively following a brand on the app, and 130 million of those interacting with shopping posts each month, this move could be highly profitable for both Instagram and brands that use their new feature.
Social ecommerce progression
It’s not just Instagram attempting to blur the lines between social media and ecommerce. H&M recently launched an online fashion advice forum – Itsapark – which allows users to share their style tips, offer advice and ask fashion-related questions.
So, if you purchase a new pair of jeans from the high street retailer and you’re not sure how to style them, you can head to Itsapark and ask the fellow community members. They can suggest clothing items from H&M and styling tips, assisting users while helping the store promote their products.
What does this mean for ecommerce brands?
Instagram’s new feature is a huge step forward for the platform, giving them opportunity to generate affiliate income and increase advertisement fees. But what does it mean for ecommerce businesses?
Initially, it won’t change much for many brands. As Instagram tests the new feature, it will only be available for a small group of 20 brands, including Adidas, Burberry, H & M, Nike and Michael Kors. Once the initial test has proven successful, Instagram will open the service up to more users, going far beyond clothing companies.
For those without access to this new feature yet, the ‘old’ way of online shopping still applies. Of course, with Instagram’s advanced shoppable features, it is much easier than ever before for users to find products they like and purchase them almost instantly. So, even if you’re not one of the chosen 20, you can still provide your customers with a quick and easy way of shopping through social media.
Keeping up with the latest trends
Social ecommerce is just another step forward for ecommerce, offering brands a unique and modern way to advertise their products and increase their customer base.
If you want to find out more about the latest, advanced features of social selling or ecommerce more broadly, Fluid Digital are here to help. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you succeed online.