Instagram is becoming friendlier to retailers and shoppers by partnering up with ecommerce sites such as Shopify and Bigcommerce. With the new tools it’s introducing, you can buy products advertised on a company’s Instagram page within seconds of seeing them.
Businesses which wanted to take advantage of the platform’s visual appeal to sell products were hampered by the inability to put links in image descriptions. Some try to skirt it by giving exact searching instructions on how to find the product, but this workaround probably lost more than a few interested-but-capricious customers.
I don’t doubt some buyers are willing to do the figurative legwork, but it’s also likely a large percentage forgot the item the moment something just as flashy passed through their feed. But now, Instagram is letting stores take advantage of that same short attention span by eliminating the need for buyers to do their own searching.
Instagram made its first overtures to shoppers last November with the introduction of shoppable tags. These allow business to add links directly to their images which take the user to an in-app product page. According to Bigcommerce, up to five products and their prices can be tagged in a given photo. Clicking on a tag lets the user see more information on the product and go directly to its store page to buy it.
While it’s debatable whether this evolution is a good thing for our collective wallet, it does seem like the natural progression for Instagram’s businesses. Currently the integrations will only work for US users. When asked for comment, Instagram said it had “nothing to share” about international business.