Instagram recently announced that it is in the process of testing a new shopping application on the platform. With this new application Instagram will be able to map most of the user’s actions right from search to purchase even though the eventual purchase takes place on the website of the advertiser. Users on Instagram can review, understand and look up items of interest across posts of 20 US-based retail brands including Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker that will offer more depth in terms of information.
Brands have very good reasons to add Instagram in their media mix because 32% of all adults who are active online and 28% of all Americans use Instagram. Brands targeting women need to note that 38% women users of the internet are active on Instagram.
The user experience on Instagram’s new application is smooth and seamless. On the bottom left of a photo on every post, users can tap an icon to see a tag that will appear on up to five products and their prices. Once the user selects a tag he will see a new detailed view of the product. Importantly, the user won’t have to leave the Instagram app to search product information and this experience right at the beginning of the search makes it worthwhile. Thereafter, if the user chooses a product and taps the Shop Now link, he will land up directly on the advertiser’s website and complete the transaction. James Quarles, VP of monetization at Instagram explained that his company won’t ask for a share of the transactions but would implement plans to bring in ads on the Instagram advertising platform.
At the New York Fashion Week, Instagram became the preferred medium for marketing heads of various fashion brands. This is an acknowledgement of the fact that Instagram is the perfect platform for certain product segments like beauty and fashion. According to Mary Beech, EVP and marketing head at Kate Spade New York, Instagram allows her customers “to seamlessly tap and shop the product—going from inspiration to information to purchase in just a few steps—we’re excited to see where the feature continues to take us.”