Instagram knows that 84% of smartphone users in the US browse, research or compare products on their phones. They want to be the bridge that connects them to your store, so they’re experimenting with the tools to do so.

“Starting next week, we’re testing a way for our community to learn more about the items they view within an Instagram post, announced Instagram, earlier this week.

“Most mobile shopping experiences today take people from the shop window right to check out—without giving consumers the opportunity to consider a product and get more information.”

Shopping on Instagram

They’re rolling out a test this month with iOS devices, with 20 U.S.-based retailers such as Kate Spade, Warby Parker and Jack Threads gaining new access to would-be customers.

“Instagram is already such a great visual platform for eCommerce sites to be able to display products with, but now the opportunities for brands and influencers have greatly increased,” said Melissa Feeney, Social Media Director at Powered By Search.

“Imagine a seamless experience where someone viewing a post featuring the product will be able to purchase immediately after identifying a need or want for that item.”

This is how it will work:

  1. These new posts will now have a Tap to View icon at the bottom left of a photo.
  2. When users tap it a tag will be revealed on various products you see in the picture, whether it’s a shirt, a pair of glasses, or a book.
  3. Users can then tap to open a new detailed view of the product.
  4. If they tap the Shop Now link from the product details, they’ll go directly to the respective online store to make a buy.

“Instagram and Warby Parker share a similar appreciation for beautiful design and seamless experiences. But right now, there isn’t a simple, clean way for us to share details about the products featured within our posts,” says Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO.

“Customers often have to ask us, which creates a bulky experience on both sides. We love how seamlessly integrated and consumer-centric this new experience is.”

Fill Your Cart From Instagram

One very interesting note is that Instagram seems focused on long term sales, and less impulse buys.

They said in their announcement that, “in an internal survey, we learned that the vast majority of purchases take a day or longer, with only 21% of purchases made within a day.

“Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase.”

You would think that given the nature of their app, they would focus on more whimsical purchases. But they’re likely ensuring the process works for products with a longer buying cycle, like appliances or automobiles.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, given Facebook’s history of failed or discontinued e-commerce products.

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Tagged with: e-commerce, Instagram

About Michelle Berube

Michelle is the Content Strategist at Powered by Search.