Instagram is a place for fashion inspiration. But there’s only viewing and liking anything and now you’ll be able to buy what you see there.
On Monday, the company announced its new e-commerce tools with the ability to shop items via Stories and the Explore page. Since June, Instagram has been testing the shopping tool in Stories and it’ll come out globally since Monday.
Brands can showcase their products by adding one product tag sticker per Story and users has to tap on it to see more information such as price. On the Explore page, a new shopping channel will display tagged shopping posts from brands you follow or may be interested in.
“If you want to shop on Instagram, it’s a lot of work,” said Vishal Shah, product management director at Instagram. “You have to scroll through Feeds, hop from profile to profile.”
Jonah Berger, a marketing and social influence expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School said: “Instagram is a place where you discover new things, brands, destinations for travel and furniture,”. “The challenge at the moment is that discovery is happening, but Instagram isn’t necessarily getting credit.”
He also added, “They’re trying to make money off of something that’s already happening on the platform,”.
Previously Instagram has released it e-commerce tools for brands to tag their posts to their websites where users can buy products. Over 90 million accounts got into their websites each month from their tags. This being a very encouraging number, the photo-sharing app has got into online shopping.
Instagram provides its shopping tools for free to businesses, but it’s exploring sponsored formats, according to an Instagram spokesperson.
The latest tool feature might encourage consumers to buy things based on friends, family and celebrities they follow on social media.
“The whole phenomenon is very promising,” said Anindya Ghose, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who teaches a course on e-commerce and social media. “A number of companies have tried it with mixed results. The potential is much higher than what we have seen so far.”