If you’re an avid online shopper and you love Instagram, best lock all the doors or your credit card may make a run for it.
With as many as 80 percent of Instagrammers following at least one business account, the photo site has become an effective way for brands to connect with fans and, in many cases, boost their bottom lines.
With the holiday season fast approaching, smooth and seamless shopping experiences are about to land in a big way for Instragram users who follow Shopify and BigCommerce merchants. The ecommerce companies have this week both announced deeper integration with Instagram, offering thousands more merchants the opportunity to sell goods on the platform via a tagging system that Instagram has been testing with select brands for almost a year.
“Merchants selected by Instagram and Shopify will be able to start tagging their posts with products in Instagram to showcase to their over 800 million monthly active users,” Shopify’s Zabrina Hossain said in a message announcing the expansion. “With Shopify’s 500,000-plus merchants in categories like fashion, jewelry, beauty, furniture, and home decor, it’s a perfect match to Instagram’s inspired community.”
BigCommerce’s Russell Klein said the new features represent a “significant step forward for merchants [and] consumers.”
Instagram’s shopping experience starts with a “tap to view products” message that appears with an image showing various items on sale. Tapping it shows up tags — one next to each item — revealing the names and prices of the pictured products. Tapping a tag takes you to a page offering more details about the item, and if you like it enough you can hit the “shop now” button to make a purchase.
The media-sharing service designed its current shopping platform to make it easier for its users to find more information about an interesting product appearing in their feed, which in turn helps them to make a more informed decision about whether to make a purchase.
Instagram, which started testing its shopping platform with select merchants in November 2016, said it was aiming to “create something that was less transactional and more immersive. Something that gave people more time and space to browse and evaluate products, making mobile shopping feel just like shopping.”
This latest development means Instagrammers are likely to see even more pathways to a slick shopping experience — good news if you love online shopping, but bad news perhaps for your bank balance.