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Soon we can do our shopping on Instagram

Instagram photo tags for shopping are becoming a reality.
Instagram photo tags for shopping are becoming a reality.

Instagram is letting brands test a new function where they’re able to tag their products so they can be bought through the app. A dussin brands, including Kate Spade, J. Crew, Warby Parker and Macy’s, have partnered up with Instagram to try this demo function that is supposed to simplify the purchase process of online customers. It is not about reducing the number of steps necessary from discovery to actually buying a product, but rather reducing the friction between the two.

For this test to have a successful outcome, Instagram needs to know how much value the function brings to businesses. For Kate Spade, ecommerce accounts for about 20 percent of business. The traffic for mobile users have increased drastically since March 2016, and this trend is likely to keep increasing. More traffic means a wider range of possibilities in the platform, which brings opportunities for functions like these to bring positive value.

A key part for the design of the new function is to design for intent. Some people aren’t out to buy a pair of sneakers when browsing the Instagram feed, but some people are. These people will unfold a step-by-step process for revealing more information as they express intent. So the content needs to be convenient for both, meaning that there needs to be a balance between effectiveness and transparency of the design.

This is Instagram’s third major update focused on retailers this year. In May, the company introduced dynamic ads that allow businesses to target ads to users featuring products that they’ve already shown interest for. Before that, Instagram launched carousel ads that allows up to five swipeable photos or videos to be shown in a single ad.

Instagram has made a statement that they are not interested in sharing revenue with businesses using the function, meaning that the companies are able to keep all the revenue resulting from the test. They mean that it creates what they’re hoping for from a community value and business value standpoint. According to them, now that it has the potential of becoming a digital product catalogue, the value Instagram can bring to business will elevate.

We’ll be on the lookout for the official release beyond the testing stages of taggable products on Instagram. Like our Facebook page to stay updated in the world of Social Media and Digital Marketing. Feel free to contact us if you would like us to help you with your company’s digital presence.

Axel Brenner

Online Marketing Specialist

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