New Instagram Features are Making it Easier to Shop In-app

Jessica Taylor Oct 9 2018

If you’re already running social advertising, you know that Facebook Ads Manager makes it easy to repurpose creative intended for Facebook directly to Instagram by simply selecting a story or feed placement. But as Instagram becomes more of a discovery tool for shoppers, there is a massive opportunity for eCommerce brands to drive sales beyond promoted posts or stories.

Features like adding links to an Instagram story which allows a user to swipe up and head directly to a landing page of your choice have been around for the last year or so, but availability is limited to business accounts with 10,000 followers or more. To further establish itself as a destination for inspiration-based purchases, Instagram has not only made available paid ad placements more engaging, but they’ve found more ways let brands of all size showcase their products organically with conversions in mind.

In September, Instagram formally rolled out Shopping in Stories, which started as a limited beta in June. Brands can tag products available in their Facebook Catalog in organic stories in-app using shopping stickers. In turn, users can tap the sticker during the story experience and see the price and item description, or head directly to the product page.

Shopping in Instagram Stories

Courtesy of Instagram

Shopping in Explore, another new commerce-driven feature, utilizes “topic channels” launched earlier this summer and personalizes categories of interest unique to each user on their explore page. Shopping in Explore leverages the Instagram algorithm to show users shoppable posts by brands they follow, alongside non-shopping content served based on your other browsing habits.

Shopping from Instagram Explore

Courtesy of Instagram

With a steady stream of product updates under their belt, it’s clear eCommerce will remain a top focus for Instagram. In fact, the rollout of these most recent features comes on the heels of news that Instagram may be launching a standalone shopping app. This seems like a natural transition considering that the very nature of the Instagram app makes product discovery a breeze.

We’ll likely continue to see Instagram pushing to drive ad spend with special emphasis on Stories. With a low barrier to entry, organic-like shoppable posts and the newly launched shoppable stickers will continue to lure businesses of all sizes to the platform as Instagram continues to solidify itself as an online shopping destination.

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