With 500 million daily active users, 80% of whom follow at least one business account, and with the main focus of the platform being on visual elements, it makes sense for Instagram to look to capitalize on its eCommerce potential.
Instagram has been developing its Shopping Tags feature for some time, which it recently expanded to Instagram Stories. And now, ahead of the holiday shopping season, Instagram has announced three more shopping tools to help businesses capitalize on buyer intent and interest.
Here's what's been announced:
First off, Instagram's adding a new section to your profile where you can save tags of products you're interested in.
As explained by Instagram:
"Now when you come across a must-have item, save it to your Shopping collection to revisit it later. When you tap a product tag in Stories or Feed, tap the Save icon in the bottom right corner to save it to your Shopping collection. Just like existing collections, you can access your Shopping collection from your profile. It’s an easy way to keep your wish list up-to-date and store creative gift ideas for the holidays."
Essentially, this is the same as Instagram's existing 'Save' feature, but with a specific focus on shopping - using the product tag itself, as opposed to the post. And it'll no doubt come in handy - I'm not a big online shopper, but I've found myself searching for a product I've seen on Instagram several times, which likely suggests many more enthusiastic buyers do the same.
The capacity to save the shopping tags themselves also builds on the potential of the tag feature, which will likely boost brand take-up of the tool.
Shop on Business Profiles
Instagram's also adding a new 'Shop' tab to business profiles, where users will be able to browse all the items featured in your shopping-tag enabled posts.
Again, this adds to the functionality of Shopping Tags, and will make it much easier to check out products, specifically, as opposed to having to scroll through all of the brand's posts to find what you're after.
Shopping Tags in Videos
Well, not quite tags, but the same principle - Instagram will also now enable businesses to include a listing of their products featured within a posted video.
"When you see a video in Feed from a brand you follow, tap the shopping icon in the bottom left corner to reveal the featured products and learn more about them."
So the process is the same as Shopping Tags, but there's no capacity to 'tag' a moving object, so you just get a list instead. Given the ever-increasing popularity of video content, this is a good addition, expanding the ways in which brands can drive direct connection from their Instagram presence.
As noted, given the audience interest in shopping on the platform, it makes perfect sense for Instagram to explore new ways to help brands maximize their presence. There's a heap of new opportunities in these tools - whether you utilize them for your holiday push, or factor them into your 2019 planning, it's worth noting the evolving opportunities for shopping on the platform.