Four Ways Instagram Is Facilitating E-commerce

Image by Freestocks.org via Pexels

Instagram’s integration of polished photos, videos and continued story expansion means that the platform may be the next e-commerce hot spot for your business. One key factor in driving Instagram’s e-commerce capabilities is that users on the platform are looking to engage with brands, with 80% of users following a business on Instagram. Additionally, more than 72% of users have made purchases on the platform and through continued improvement the number of people and frequency of purchase could continue to increase. In recent years Instagram has launched new e-commerce enabling features which could be beneficial to your business

1. Shopping Posts

Shopping posts give businesses the ability to tag products. This allows consumers to see product information directly in the app and helps to streamline the sales process by removing extra work for the potential customer. Additionally, it allows businesses to get more accurate analytics by showing which images lead to further website interactions and sales conversions. Later has an excellent article detailing How to Track Traffic from Instagram and gather the most data from shoppable content.  

Posts that include the product tag will also appear under the shopping section on the explore page. Users can search for products of brands that they follow in a separate tab, indicated by the storefront icon. As well, users can create their own wish list of shoppable products under the save tab in the upper right corner.

Instagram shopping page | Screenshot from personal Instagram

2. Shopping Stickers

Instagram has also released a similar feature for stories, by allowing companies to tag products through stickers. Although it was possible to shop through stories before with website integration, this is limited to business accounts with a minimum of 10,000 followers. The shopping stickers are available for all businesses, provided you have turned on Instagram Shopping in the app and have a Facebook catalog with Facebook Business Manager.

Image by Madewell on Instagram via Instagram

3. Instagram Checkout

Launched in March 2019, Instagram’s checkout feature builds upon their shopping stickers and allows consumers to purchase products without leaving the Instagram app. Consumers information will also be saved within the app, in order to increase efficiency for other in-app purchases, and they will receive notifications regarding their purchase through Instagram. However, this new feature is currently going through beta testing in the U.S., with no exact timeline for further roll out.

Image by ColourPop Cosmetics on Instagram via Instagram

4. Product Launch Reminders

Instagram has continued their e-commerce beta testing with product launch reminders for stories through the form of stickers and product launch tag options on posts. These new features will allow brands to set the date for product launches, and consumers who opt in will receive a reminder. This feature capitalizes on the trend of “creator collaborations and limited releases, [which] are now being adopted by fashion, beauty and luxury brands.” Although still in beta testing this feature would work similarly to the current countdown sticker and businesses could implement this tactic to generate hype for new product launches in advance of the official roll out.

BONUS: Instagram Donations

Non-profits can also benefit from Instagram’s push towards further payment integration. By launching donations stickers individual users can launch donation initiatives for a charity of their choice, and is also available for business accounts. Currently only available in the U.S., the feature demonstrates Instagram’s continued expansion of their platform’s integrations and their ability to notice and provide features based on user trends.

Image by American Cancer Society on Instagram via Later

What do you think of Instagrams further payment integration? Given Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, history with data privacy do you think consumers will trust Instagram with their payment integration? Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions about these new features!

Promotional Posts

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7 thoughts on “Four Ways Instagram Is Facilitating E-commerce

  1. Great post! I had no idea the amount of users making purchases on Instagram is so high. I’m part of the 80% of users that follow a business account but I’ve never made a purchase directly in the app. I do think trust is a big part of users’ decisions to make purchases on Instagram given Facebook’s privacy issues in the past. Despite not using Instagram for purchases myself, it’s interesting to see what they’re testing in the states right now and what could be coming to the platform in the future.
    In the coming years I’m curious to see if the number of purchases made on the platform grows exponentially. I wonder if as kids who grew up with the platform get older and make more purchases, if Instagram will be the primary online destination for their shopping, using the platform more than company websites. What are your thoughts?

    • I do think that sales will continue to grow in Instagram, due to further consumer adoption if not just because the feature will continue to be released to a wider audience. If it will become the primary shopping destination is a really interesting question. Currently I think that a company website would still be more efficient for businesses that have a lot of product variation or product lines. Adidas is a good example of this. Although they are part of the Instagram checkout beta run, if I am looking to buy a specific type of pant or want to buy an Adidas hoodie it might be more efficient for me to go to their website and filter through their products instead of scrolling through Instagram. Where I do see the Instagram feature working is for businesses with lower brand recognition decreasing barriers for first purchases, capitalizing on impulse shopping and helping to promote new releases. I am very excited to see how e-commerce on social platforms continues to evolve and can’t wait for it to be launched in Canada!

  2. Hi Erica, I am also very interested in Instagram shopping. As you share, people can now shop directly on Instagram, and most businesses also have their own official Instagram shopping platform. At the same time, brands and sponsors will find some influencers to promote their products. This industry chain is very amazing.

    • Yes definitely! It will be interesting to see how social media will continue to evolve and what new capabilities will be integrated.

  3. What an interesting topic! There is so much information that I didn’t know about when it comes to shopping and Instagram. One-click payments are definitely the way of the future, making purchases at a whim very simple. I could definitely see this as a trend that keeps on growing. Thanks for sharing!

    • I agree reducing the barriers to purchase, such as remembering or entering purchase information, appears to be the way forward.

  4. Very interesting, never heard of the e-commerce capabilities of Instagram. I once fell for the advertisement/insta post that they show when you scroll every few feed post. Interested in seeing how I could apply this to my own brand, would you be able to sell services one day?

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