Instagram has introduced a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand with the launch of Instagram Shopping in the UK, an update on the social media platform allows consumers to seamlessly purchase products directly from businesses.
The development marks the Facebook-owned firm’s most significant push into e-commerce since the introduction of Instagram for Business tools in 2016 and since introduced a shoppable advert system dubbed “collection” campaigns earlier this year.
With the launch of its in-app Shopping feature in the UK, Instagram is establishing itself as a fully-fledged m-commerce channel as well. The social platform thrives by allowing users to share images of their favourite things, so it makes complete sense to help consumers get their hands on items they love.”
Mobile’s share of e-commerce is set to increase to nearly 50% over the next five years, and social shopping will be at the heart of this trend as consumers increasingly demand a friction-free mobile experience.
Instagram said its new Shopping function provides people with a visual storefront to explore new products from the brands they love.With easy access to pricing and product details, shoppers can tap on a tagged post within their feed to buy a specific product directly from the brand’s website, without having to search for it.
High street giant Marks & Spencer was one of the first three businesses to take part in the UK test phase of the Shopping function.
“Instagram Shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers,” says Erin Roy, head of digital marketing, M&S.
“Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers.
“Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level. They are simple to create, easy for our customers to use and enhance the Instagram experience.”
The UK launch of Shopping also follows a successful introduction in the US last year.
“People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses,” Instagram head of business Jim Squires said.
“We want that to be a seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”
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