Just in time for Christmas, Instagram has introduced new ways for users to discover brands and products. However, at present it does not include a ‘buy’ button.
Instead, users will be able to use a new service called ‘Explore’, a shopping channel that lets users shop from the brands they follow as well as new ones.
Instagram has added a feature that allows users to save a shopping collection which can be revisited later. Users will also be able to tag a product in ‘Stories’ or ‘Feed’ and save it to their shopping collection.
To this end, Instagram has revamped the ‘Shop’ tab on business profiles so users can quickly view all the products featured. This includes the ability to shop in videos from the brands they follow.
We found that people use Instagram to window shop. They don’t always come looking for a specific item, but instead to have fun and discover new brands and new products. They see shopping as a hobby, a social and entertaining experience.
Therefore, we are focused on making it easier and more fun for people to discover and learn more about products on Instagram, whether they stumble upon something they love or simply want to browse.
Our goal is to help businesses and people find each other, and our goal with retailers in particular is to build one of the best, most comprehensive set of business tools on mobile including tools to help them create, share, target, sell and grow.- Paige Cohen: Technology Communications Manager, Instagram
Having said all that, Instagram is not at the moment offering its users the ability to make purchases while shopping on Instagram.
We made a conscious decision not to build a buy button. We’re focused on making it easier for people to discover and learn more about products they find on Instagram. in the future, we’ll continue to identify places we can reduce friction throughout the buying process.- Paige Cohen: Technology Communications Manager, Instagram
And there is the rub. According to recent studies it takes, on average 22.1 clicks to complete an online purchase, with an average time taken of two minutes, 25 seconds. As a consequence, many argue the more seamless the buying process can be by reducing time-consuming barriers that stand in the way of purchasing the better.
With all of us increasingly using our mobiles for shopping, Instagram has become an important avenue, recognising that good images help with selling brands, can ensure that businesses will go the extra mile and consumers gain a seamless, easier means of shopping.