- Adidas, H&M, Levi's, Michael Kors and Warby Parker are among the brands testing a new Instagram feature that lets consumers set reminders for when products are available to buy, according to an Instagram announcement. Brands can show previews of product sales and let customers tap on a digital sticker in an Instagram Story or launch tag in their feed to set a reminder.
- Users will receive an alert 15 minutes before a product drop, giving them time to log into the image-sharing app and make a purchase before the product sells out. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Balmain, Highsnobiety, Huda Beauty, MAC Cosmetics and SoulCycle are also participating in the test, which is only available to U.S. Instagram users.
- Instagram also introduced a branded account called @creators to urge aspiring social influencers to create content for the platform, including Stories that explain how to get a verified account, access to special features and details about how to get further help.
Instagram's test of an in-app reminder feature for new merchandise comes as brands, especially in fashion and beauty, use product drops to build excitement for limited-edition items. The reminders can help brands to drive direct sales after promoting their product drops among their most dedicated followers. Instagram has become a platform for product discovery, with about 60% of users following a new brand after seeing an appealing ad in the app's vertical feed or in Stories, per a September study by video technology startup VidMob.
The Instagram reminders aim to help brands drive direct sales as e-commerce becomes a bigger priority for the image-sharing app. Its shopping-related services include the introduction of a special account called @shop that brings together posts from the app's online merchants. Instagram also added a native checkout feature in March to let shoppers pay for products without leaving the app, and later extended the tool. Last year, Instagram introduced a dedicated shopping channel in its Explore tab and to Stories and added a collection tab to let users save products they've tagged in the app.
Instagram's introduction of its @creators account signals that parent company Facebook wants more users to create content for the app amid competition from popular influencer platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Nurturing a creator community may help Instagram to boost engagement with a broader selection of organic posts, as overcrowding from sponsored posts has pushed engagement rates to all-time lows, a study from July indicated.