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.
Pinterest, a pillar of “social shopping” announced the launch of new features aimed at providing a one-stop shop buying experience for consumers. According to Adweek, the new “amazon-like” functionality allows Pinterest users to seamlessly add items from multiple retailers into a single cart and then checkout via the Pinterest platform, without ever leaving the site. Pinterest is also introducing a feature that uses visual search to let people search for similar items shown within a post. Finally, they have chosen to expand the “buyable pin” or the buy button to their web platform. All these updates come at a time when Pinterest, valued at over $11 billion, is trying to separate itself from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, which offer limited social shopping capabilities in comparison.
Earlier this week Abercrombie and Chico’s both cited challenges in driving customer foot traffic to store locations as a major factor contributing to lower than expected earnings. For most retailers, the convenience of e-commerce has placed increasing pressure on getting customers into the stores. According to WSJ and Retail Metrix store foot traffic fell 6.4% this past November and December.