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Instagram May Soon Provide Shopping Options for Users

Instagram is planning to provide an option for its 500 million plus users to shop within the platform.

Up until now, products on Instagram could be liked or commented on, but users never had the option of actually purchasing any product in the platform. For instance, if you see a product that you like on Instagram, you would have to look for the product name or website information in the description, and exit Instagram in order to purchase the product at the website accessed through the browser. This whole trouble can be avoided if the new feature goes live for all users. The app will initially be tested on a group of iOS users in the US. Twenty retailers – including Kate Spade, Macy’s, Jack Threads and Warby Parker will also be included in the test list.

These retailers involved in the test will have a “tap to view” button that would display the tagged items in the photo. The user would then have to click on it to view the product and product details, and would be provided with the “shop now” option. Users, upon clicking on the option, will be redirected to the website from within the app. Retailers can take advantage of the feature to get more clarity on what drives users to their products, and what sort of posts/photos drive most sales. Instagram would provide click details to these retailers, who then could use the data to drive further sales.

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Instagram isn’t the first among the other platforms who are interested in turning into a shopping hangout. Twitter had tested its “buy button” for over a year and failed to take it further. Pinterest had also tested direct buying on its site, and we haven’t heard much about it since then.

“It makes it a really exciting opportunity to turn Instagram on the organic side from an engagement channel to a direct selling channel,” said JackThreads CMO Ryan McIntyre. “We’ll be looking at sales and total basket sizes and things like post-click as they come over, but also looking at the image composition from what actually drives the most activity,”
We will have to patiently wait and watch to know if this feature could revolutionize user experience on Instagram.
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