Mobile AppsMobility

Instagram Trials Shopping Features In E-Commerce Drive

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Instagram believes its users willigness to discover and the presence of major brands on the platform are a winning e-commerce combination

Instagram is piloting a shopping feature in the US in a bid to take advantage of the rise of mobile e-commerce.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing social network believes the willingness of its users to ‘discover’ brands and products on the platform, combined with the presence of major retailers, is a winning combination.

It says just a fifth of all purchases are completed within a day of initiation, meaning the ability for retailers to provide more information or, a longer ‘shopping journey’, could help drive sales.

Instagram shopping

Instagram“Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase,” said Instagram.

The feature sees retailers able to provide more information about certain products and gives users the option to see prices and other products. Only when they click ‘shop now’ do they exit the Instagram platform.

The trial involves 20 US retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s and Macy’s,  and if successful will be expanded globally. Instagram will also trial new ways of showcasing products and the ability to save content to peruse later.

“Our community uses Instagram as an aspirational discovery platform and they’re looking to us for inspiration,” says Ryan McIntyre, CMO of JackThreads, one of the participating retailers.. “This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile.

“Instead of having to transition over to the JackThreads app, our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds—allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”

Instagram has been courting businesses in a revenue increasing drive and launched a partner program last year.

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