Instagram users can expect a rapid integration of retail and social media
By: Kendra Hettig
Online shopping is about to get easier now that Instagram’s shopping feature will allow influencers to tag specific products on their posts and stories. Convenient and quick, the recent feature aims to enable an in-app checkout for users looking to buy a product from a brand ambassador, influencer or company post. Since Instagram’s 2018 roll out feature of product stickers and a shopping tab on the Explore section of the app, shopping from both unknown and widely known stores has become a budding—and lucrative—part of the Instagram experience.
Those looking to sell products online can easily start their own business with Instagram. In order to make a feed shoppable, users must first receive approval from Instagram before they can start using the Instagram shopping feature. The approval process consists of first complying with Instagram’s merchant and commerce agreements, having an active Instagram business account, an inventory of physical products to sell and connecting an Instagram business profile to a Facebook Page and Catalog. Once approved, users can simply go to Settings, select the Business tab and enable the shopping feature.
Since Instagram introduced the shopping feature, influencers have become an integral way to further promote products and services. Brands have subsequently leveraged influencer followers to increase brand awareness and generate new customers. Now with the new product tag feature, influencers with thousand—if not millions—of loyal followers can easily tag a product they are wearing or using directly onto their post. Instagram does receive a portion of sales generated from such product tags, while influencers and their tagged brands will be able to access comprehensive Instagram analytics. These analytics will aid influencers when negotiating a brand deal—as correlations between product tags and brand engagement will be revealed through the data.
The recent feature addition will help streamline Instagram’s e-commerce experience, which is projected to be worth $10 billion by 2021. The move also drives Instagram ahead of competing social media networks—with most platforms lacking the same retail integration that Instagram has amassed.
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