Finally Instagram’s “shopping” function has arrived in Italy after launching in the United States in 2017. The app is no longer just a go-between, it gives users the chance to buy directly from a brand’s online store. The goal is to increase purchases from mobile, and give brands a major opportunity to bring their community directly to their online stores.
Shopping: how to sell outfits directly on Instagram
Shopping is a tool that lets companies add special tags to posts where visitors can make direct purchases. The user sees a white shopping bag icon in the bottom left of a photo, and clicking on it will bring up a popup that shows the price and links to a new page. The in-app popup will give more info about a product or you can proceed with the “buy now” button. To finalize the purchase, you’ll be sent right to the brand’s online store.
As Alberto Mazzierei, Industry Manager of Facebook Italy explained, “the goal is a provide an even more immersive experience.” From this point of view, fashion brands are the ones that can benefit most from the Shopping function, not just for the strong visual impact, but also because Millennials consider Instagram the main source of style inspiration.
For the moment, the feature is free and available only to companies or business profiles, and influencers and fashion bloggers will be disappointed to discover the limitations. Case in point: they can’t tag items they’re wearing with Shopping tags. The head honchos at Instagram have made it known that they plan to monetize the new function by allowing companies to show photos with buyable items even to non followers —a sort of post promotion.
Buying from your phone: why Instagram introduced Shopping
It’s estimated that 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, and that over 200 million people visit business profiles every day—profiles which have now reached a record number of 25 million on a global scale. And this doesn’t count the fact that many registered accounts on the platform are for virtual stores, and and that the most viewed Stories are by brands.
Over the last 3 months, 39% of people bought fashion-related items directly from their mobile device (tablet or smartphone). “People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses,” said Jim Squires, Directors of Market Operations of Instagram. “Shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”
More than fashion: Instagram Shopping for food and experiences
After its success in the United States, the shopping feature has launched in Italy and 7 other countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Canada and Australia), and should extend throughout the world by the end of the year. Instagram Shopping is revolutionizing the shopping experience through using Social media in a new way. But fashion isn’t the only trend on the platform: from food to travel, there are plenty of areas where Instagram is a trendsetter. In the near future, these sectors could also benefit from the Shopping function. For now though, Mazzieri says “services aren’t taggable.” But he doesn’t rule out the possibility that this will move in that direction. We’ll wait and see.
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