Instagram Expands E-Commerce Features with ‘Shoppable Stories’

In a move to ramp up its advertising features, the social media site has launched its ‘shoppable Instagram stories’ initiative, which will allow advertisers to display a shopping bag icon, descriptions and price information, as well as links to purchase the product, in their Instagram stories.

“Today we’re beginning to expand shopping beyond Feed to Instagram Stories. Instagram isn’t just a place of inspiration, it’s also a place of action, and we know that inspiration can come from anywhere,” the company said in a post on its website.

The announcement says that “select” brands will be able to display the shopping bag icon on their stories, with plans in place to roll out the feature on a wider scale in the future.

Instagram stories
Instagram introduces shoppable stories.

According to Instagram, 300 million people use Instagram Stories each day, and Instagram is quickly becoming a popular shopping destination.

“From Adidas and Aritzia to Louis Vuitton, people have been able to shop from their favourite brands around the world, and now you can shop these businesses in Instagram Stories.”

The picture-sharing social network says that a recent survey revealed that shoppers often watch stories to stay “in-the-know” with their favourite brands.

“On average, more than one in three self-reported daily active Instagrammers surveyed in BR, ID, UK, and the US said they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Instagram Stories,” the survey found.

ASOS is among the brands praising Instagram Stories for improving its social media ROI, claiming the social media feature helped increase sales. In the six months leading up to April 2018, the brand reported that almost twice the amount of users were viewing its content, resulting in a 10 percent increase in its half-year profits and a 27 percent increase in sales.

ASOS’ Chief Executive, Nick Beighton attributed the company’s success on the platform to the appeal of Instagram to its customer base, which is comprised mainly of 20-somethings. He also said that a continued investment in emerging content formats is a priority for the company.

“When we recognise technology that can help our business, we fold in pretty quickly,” Beighton said in the company’s interim results statement.

The introduction of e-commerce features in Instagram Stories comes after the platform successfully launched ‘Shoppable Posts’ in the US in late 2017, and Australia in March this year.

Shoppable Instagram posts
Shoppable Instagram posts were introduced in Australia earlier this year.

Myer and Country Road were among the first local retailers to take advantage of the new feature, with Anna Delaney, the national manager of social media and digital partnerships at Myer saying at the time “Instagram is an important platform for our customers, which makes it an important platform for Myer.”

Instagram is yet to reveal which brands have access to its new shopping feature, and it’s unclear if it’s available in Australia, or when it will become accessible to Australian brands.

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