Like search engines, the algorithms of social media websites are constantly changing. Facebook has seen a shift in users now that it is becoming more difficult for news outlets to grow their audience via Facebook. Instagram, meanwhile, is doing something different for online marketers.
Facebook is the parent company of Instagram and, in a similar trend, the photogenic social media application has shifted its focus to become a marketer’s dream, essentially a catalog of sorts.
In an effort to keep up with social media websites like Pinterest or Wish, Instagram is launching shopping features that will help people discover and consider purchasing within the app before redirecting them to the merchant’s website for checkout with just one click. In addition, Instagram Explore is using personalization to try to reach more customers, creating a personalized shopping channel of items the app thinks you will want the most and expanding shopping tags for Instagram stories.
The goal here is to connect a browsing atmosphere with a purchase atmosphere. With Instagram’s plan, it becomes measurable to connect the dots between where people get ideas for things they want and the purchasing process itself.
Instagram has stated that 90 million people are already using shopping tags each month and the new features could lead them to seeing more ads for items they may want to purchase. The new features provide assistance in getting ads in front of users, helping to boost retail sales for businesses for free.
The possibilities are endless for Instagram. The Shopping channel joins other topic channels such as For You, Art, Beauty, Sports and Fashion that launched in June. Through Explore, Instagram is able to show you posts tagged from both businesses you follow and suggested accounts to follow. It is a way to get Instagram users into a dedicated shopping space.
Shopping Stickers can allow brands to add a sticker to their story and customize it based on what they are promoting. By just tapping on the screen, users will be redirected to a product details page and another tap will send them directly to the merchant’s site to be able to purchase. Businesses will be able to track the success of these stickers and see how many people have tapped through to the website. Instagram also has partnerships with both Shopify and BigCommerce to make it easy for retailers on both platforms to be able to use stickers.
In the immediate, it’s a new trend for Instagram, capitalizing on these features in an effort to increase sales. But proceed with caution. Facebook did something similar a few years ago and some retailers started to become dependent on the platform and changed their content strategies after a result. When Facebook altered its algorithm and shifted focus away from businesses and news outlets and more on family and friends, businesses suffered greatly as a result, especially if they put a lot of their marketing focus on Facebook’s traffic increase.
For now, Instagram’s new features are certainly a reason to get active and try to enter the marketplace created. But as quickly as this has entered the realm of Instagram, it could disappear with another algorithm change.
For now, Instagram has added some quality features that can benefit eCommerce merchants and are worth taking advantage of in the short term.
Looking to promote your brand on social media? At 1Digital Agency, our experts are here to help! We know the importance of social media and want to help you get started. Contact us today to learn more!
- Dan Kogan
- September 25, 2018