Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram has announced that it is expanding its shoppable posts feature – created in partnership with multi-channel commerce platform Shopify – to eight new countries. Originally launched in the United States in November 2017, the service is now also available in Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia. The feature is available to business accounts on Instagram, letting them include shoppable tags on photos for customers to click and buy through.
Shopify’s software solutions let merchants design, set up, and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform has seen particular success with major online platforms like Facebook, BuzzFeed, Pinterest, and eBay, and its partnership with Instagram set the grounds for the photo-sharing platform’s first major foray into e-commerce. Speaking after the latest announcement, Satish Kanwar, Vice President, Product, Shopify, said, “Shoppers around the world increasingly demand unique experiences that shorten the path to purchase, and the future of commerce will need to meet and exceed these evolving demands. We continue to partner and experiment with leading social platforms to support our merchants in reaching their customers wherever they are...The expanded collaboration with Instagram is indicative of our commitment to support our merchants in growing their business and reaching more customers globally.”
Instagram’s visually-driven platform offers plenty of opportunities for businesses to display their products to prospective customers. Before the introduction of the Shopping feature, companies had to resort to using third-party tools like Like2Buy and LikeToKnowIt to direct customers to their commerce portals. With the new feature, businesses can now add up to five product tags for single image posts, or up to 20 tags for multi-image posts. These tags are visible to users when they view the post; tapping on the tags takes users to a new in-app page with more information about the product and the business and a “Shop Now” button that directs them to the brand’s own online store. After making nine such posts, brands and businesses get the option to include a permanent “shop” tab on their account that lets users scroll through and view all available products and costs in a single place.
In a statement, Susan Rose, Director of Product Marketing, Instagram, said, “We know that people come to Instagram to be inspired and discover new products from businesses they love, and we want them to easily be able to learn more, consider and ultimately purchase those products. By integrating with Shopify, we’re giving even more businesses the ability to reach people at that moment of inspiration while making it easier for their potential customers to shop directly from Instagram.” Jim Squires, Instagram’s Head of Business, added, “People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses. We want to be that seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”
Instagram has been steadily trying to promote its business potential to attract more clients and consumers willing to use its platform to sell products and help monetise the platform. The platform even introduced shopping-enabled ads in February this year to attract more businesses.