Instagram is completely transforming the way in which consumers shop online. Since it launched its shoppable posts feature in November 2016, Instagram users have integrated it into their shopping habits. Many have begun to refer to it as “virtual window shopping.”
The “seamless experience” created for retailers has enabled consumers to complete their customer journey, from discovery to checkout, without ever leaving the app. With 80% of Instagram users following a business account, and a global community of over 600 million, shoppable content is driving revenue for brands across a wide array of industries.
Instagram’s shoppable post feature allows companies to tag posts with individual products, giving consumers the opportunity to shop directly from photos in their feed. The company is currently testing a capability that additionally lets users shop from Instagram Stories.
Instagram’s newest endeavor in e-commerce involves an entirely new entity. The Verge reported earlier this month that Instagram is building a standalone app dedicated to shopping. The app (which may be called IG Shopping) would let users browse collections of goods from brands that they follow and purchase them directly within the app. Instagram has yet to comment on the topic.
As of now, there is no anticipated date of the app’s launch and its development is still at risk of being cancelled before release.
In the meantime, Instagram announced on September 17th that a shopping tab will be added to the app’s explore page. The tab will allow users to peruse shoppable posts from various merchants. Vishal Shah, Director of Product Management at Instagram, told Recode that “his current focus is expanding the ways in which sellers can advertise products to the billion users currently on the main app and the 90 million people using it to shop.”
Shah dodged the topic of a standalone app numerous times in his interview at CodeCommerce, but made it clear that Instagram will continue to put its users at the forefront of all decision making.
With Instagram continuing to launch new commerce tools, it has undoubtedly staked major claim in today’s online retail sphere. As it develops resources to connect users and merchants, Instagram is sure to capitalize on the growing enthusiasm for commerce on the platform.
Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital