After an initial test (working with 20 retailers including Kate Spade New York, Lulu’s, Macy’s and Warby Parker) launched just in November, Instagram has been encouraged enough by the results of a new more in-depth shopping feature to more businesses, the Facebook photo-sharing unit said in a blog post Tuesday.
The feature works with a tap-to-view icon at the bottom left of a photo, which can showcase up to five products and their prices. Once a tag is selected, a detailed view of the product opens, bringing product information to the consumer directly in the app. A shopper can tap a “Shop Now” link from the product details view to go directly to that product on the business’ website, simplifying the path to purchase.
Retailers will also soon be able to get insights from the metrics, including how many people tapped to see more product details or clicked on “shop now,” the company said.
Instagram is moving assertively with a marketing feature that could overshadow Snapchat. The ease is part of the appeal: Retail marketers with product information already on Facebook can plug them into Instagram Shopping or tag their products in a photo uploaded to Instagram. The social image-sharing site also recently added advertisements and new insights via Instagram Business Tools for its Stories feature.
The smooth path from the Instagram app to an e-commerce site proved effective during Macy’s test of the feature over the holidays, Macy’s director of social media Tessa Kavanaugh told Retail Dive in an email.
"Instagram’s shopping capabilities perfectly align with Macy’s strategy of creating a frictionless shopping experience for our customers,” Kavanaugh said. “By allowing users the opportunity to purchase featured items they want via a seamless transition from the social platform to our e-commerce site, Instagram is helping us create better engagement with consumers. We’re encouraged by the results we saw during the holiday and gifting timeframe this past year, particularly the double digit increase in sessions on our ecommerce site directed from the platform.”
Abercrombie & Fitch and its Hollister brand also found that its shoppers took advantage of the tags to view production information and travel to its site, and the company said the feature significantly boosted engagement.
“Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister’s participation in this type of alpha program is key to ensuring our brands remain at the forefront of discovering unique ways to engage with our customers,” Abercrombie & Fitch Chief Marketing Officer Will Smith said in an email. “Shopping on Instagram is an important brand and product awareness driver for us, and it greatly influences our consumer's path to purchase. We found that as many as 25% to 30% of people who clicked through to the product details went on to visit our website, ultimately allowing further product exploration and brand discovery. From there, we can convert these consumers at a higher rate through Facebook and Instagram retargeting tools."