Instagram is dipping its toes into the world of social shopping, announcing a test launch of shoppable tags on photos from 20 retail partners. The new tags will allow customers using Instagram’s mobile app to connect directly to products that are featured in photos from retailers like JackThreads and Kate Spade. When customers tap on tags, a limited product detail page within the Instagram App is revealed which displays price, description, and additional product images. Customers then have the option to complete the transaction by tapping “Shop Now” which navigates to the retailer’s e-commerce site.
Right now Instagram won’t charge retailers to use shoppable tags. Long term the company will charge retailers to display sponsored shoppable content to users that do not follow a brand, similar to the way in which parent company, Facebook’s sponsored posts work.
The launch of these shoppable images represents a major step for reducing friction for retailers on Instagram as previously, consumers needed to navigate away from the image in order to find a link to shop with a given retailer. By enabling a frictionless connection to buyable products, retailers should enjoy even better conversion from Instagram efforts.
At the same time, merging social and shopping has proved tricky in the past for other retailers. Twitter ultimately abandoned the buying button on its platform. Pinterest on the other hand has taken a cautious approach to buyable pins, only recently rolling out the feature broadly.
The success of Instagram’s shoppable tags may reside in their mobile focus and the fact that over half of their users report that they are already discovering the products that they ultimately buy on the platform. We’ll be keeping an eye on the success of shoppable tags as customers continue to demand a greater connection between the retailers they shop with, and the social media networks where they spend most of their time.
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Originally Published on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/instagram-joins-social-shopping-party-sandeep-bhanote?published=t