Instagram Shopping Becomes More Widely Available To U.S. Brands

BACKGROUND

After months of testing with a select group of retailers, including the likes of J. Crew and Warby Parker, Instagram Shopping has become more widely available this month to apparel, jewelry, and beauty brands in the United States.

The release heralds a new and direct way for brands to connect users with products shown on social media. Instagrammers in the U.S. will soon be able to shop and browse products from posts in their feed, on a business’ profile, and in the Explore tab.

What Users See

  • An image of the product
  • A description of the product
  • How much the product costs
  • A link to your website, where they can purchase the product

The company promises convenient and easy setup for advertisers. Instagram’s blog announcement states that “once a business has a product catalog connected to their account, tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post.” Additionally, all steps for integration can be completed via the mobile application. Businesses can tag up to five products in a photo, and can make both new and existing posts shoppable. At this time, items can only be tagged in single, static photos.

What This Means For Marketers

Instagram Shopping has the potential to transform a brand’s feed into a digital catalog, with photo content supporting both awareness and direct response goals. Per recent Instagram internal data, 80% of the platform’s 600M global users follow a business account. Leveraging the fact that these users often browse Instagram for lifestyle inspiration, the new shopping capabilities shorten the path from discovery to conversion.

U.S. fashion brand Kate Spade New York began testing the feature in October 2016. Mary Beech, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Kate Spade, noted the benefits of this new feature: “our customer had turned to Instagram for inspiration, and we’re seeing that she’s reacting positively to the new shopping experience, which allows her to seamlessly tap and shop the product – going from inspiration to information to purchase in just a few steps.”

Advertisers will gain access to new insights, such as the number of people who tapped to see more product details or clicked on “shop now.” Not only will this provide near instant feedback on which type of creative spurs engagement, but also which products are most appealing.

Instagram Shopping is also poised to capitalize on social word-of-mouth recommendations, multiplying product reach as users tag loved ones in post comments and share content via direct messaging.

Eligibility

Instagram Shopping is rolling out gradually and is currently available to retailers collaborating with BigCommerce and Shopify platforms. Advertisers integrated with these services can contact them directly to move forward. Those using other ecommerce services must contact Facebook Business to join a waitlist.

Additional Criteria

  • You must be converted to a Business Profile
  • You must sell apparel, jewelry, or beauty products
  • Your account must be in English

PHOTO SOURCE: Instagram

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