Instagram shopping service moves beyond US
Instagram has expanded its shoppable posts feature, created in partnership with Shopify, to Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
Retailers and brands can include shoppable tags on photos for customers to click and buy through. “With easy access to pricing and product details, shoppers can tap on a tagged post within their feeds or through the shop button on a business’s profile to take the next steps to learn more,” Instagram says. The service was launched in the US last year and has been trialled in the UK by the likes of Marks and Spencer. Erin Roy, Head of Media and Digital Marketing at M&S, says: "Instagram shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers. Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers. Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level."
“It’s no surprise to see Instagram expand their shopping service in the UK,” comments Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation, Salmon. “Firstly, it is simply a reaction to consumers’ ever-changing shopping traits which continue to shift to mobile and online. And for brands it’s an opportunity to secure a larger slice of the competitive retail market. Mobile sales are now a significant source of growth and this will enable retailers to provide tailored deals directly to the shopper. It will also naturally influence the market during retail peaks, as consumers use social media to search for the latest trends and products. Our Black Friday research last year predicted that November would be the first £10 billion mobile month, but the figure may have been much higher if shoppers could purchase directly from social.”
He adds that retailers must not ignore the supply chain challenges as they link their offline, online and social channels together. Back-end processes will have to be prepared for the increased level of purchases made via social media, and ensure that stock levels and estimated delivery times remain up-to-date. “Without a fluid retail experience, shoppers will be left frustrated and may abandon a brand as a result. However, brands that can successfully build a robust, personal and immediate online service will be able to turn shoppers into long-term customers.”