Instagram is also known as a mail-order catalog. Recently, it launched Shopping features to enable users to find possible purchases and consider purchasing it through the merchant’s website.
The company announced that its Instagram Explore would have a customized Shopping channel of items that the app thinks you would want most. Instagram conducted a limited test a few months ago. After that test, it expanded its Shopping tags for Instagram Stories. It also allows brands in 46 nations to include a shopping bag icon to their Stories. In that way, users could easily click on the item to purchase it.
Shopping is a popular activity on this app. According to Instagram:
“Instagram is the best place to connect with your friends and interests all in one place – and shopping is an essential, growing part of the Instagram community. In fact, more than 90 million accounts now tap to reveal tags in shopping posts on Instagram every month.” – Instagram
In a recent earnings call, Sheryl Sandberg revealed that over 25 million businesses worldwide have Instagram accounts. Then, 2 million businesses are using the app to advertise on Facebook.
Earlier this month, the Verge reported that Instagram is building a standalone app. This app will allow users to browse goods from merchants that they are following. If they find one that they want to purchase, they can buy it directly within the app.
However, the said standalone app is still under development. It might be canceled or it might get released.
In five IG users, four of them follow one business. By having a standalone app, Instagram could offer a home for those who love to shop. It also enables the company to expand many opportunities for revenue.
Soon, Facebook might add more tools for businesses who wish to build their shops on Instagram. If that would happen, the app would challenge several e-commerce platforms.
Many online businesses with Instagram accounts would surely utilize paid businesses tool whenever available. Currently, there are companies that sell tools to Instagram advertisers. Shopify, for example, has plugins that could help promote and manage businesses on Instagram.
With this development, companies could add one Shopping Sticker per story. They can customize the color so that it would match the photo or video. When the user taps it, it opens the details page of the product. Or user will be directed to the merchant’s site.
Businesses could monitor the number of people who clicked the Shopping sticker and individuals who tapped the option to visit their website.
Unfortunately, there is no shopping option yet on IGTV.
The latest shopping features are a boon to merchants who wish to increase their sales. A few years ago, news publishers experienced an increase in referral traffic from Facebook. They became dependent on Facebook. For that reason, they changed their content strategies to further capture that traffic. However, they are now struggling to chase it after Facebook decided to cut off the traffic because it wanted to focus on family and friends content.