Instagram has rolled out a number of updates to its e-commerce functionalities to increase consumer engagement and shape how users interact with shopping posts in their feeds. The ICONIC and Stylerunner share their thoughts on the upgrades.
In a statement to the media, Instagram has confirmed its new ‘Shoppable Stories’ e-commerce feature is now available to consumers and advertisers across the globe.
When shoppable stories were first unveiled in June this year, only “select” brands were able to display the shopping bag icon in their stories.
As part of the update, advertisers can now display a shopping bag icon, product descriptions, price information, and purchase links within their Instagram Stories.
So far, the update has been positively received by brands, with representatives from Stylerunner and The ICONIC claiming the functionality is simple yet effective.
“The action of tapping the products, seeing prices and shopping all within Instagram stories creates a more seamless experience for the customer, as opposed to clicking a link to be navigated away from the space,” says Lauren Skora, the head of content at Stylerunner.
“By using this tool to gain a better understanding of what our customers want to see, we can show them more of what they love.”
Alexander Meyer, the chief marketing officer at The ICONIC echoes this sentiment, claiming The ICONIC has already seen an increase in engagement.
“Our customers love being able to connect with our product faster than ever before and we’ve seen this through increased engagement and discussion within post comments.”
The social media channel is also releasing a new personalised shopping channel in Explore, where users will have a dedicated space to visit when they want to see products being sold by the brands they follow, or to discover new ones.
In a recent blog post, Instagram discussed the new channel it’s added to Explore.
“Now, when you simply want to shop for fun, you’ll see a channel dedicated to Shopping posts from the brands you follow and brands you might like,” the company wrote.
According to the Group Industry Director at Facebook ANZ, Naomi Shepherd, the new e-commerce functionalities are an indication of the direction the social networking platform is heading in.
“Over half of young Australians have bought something through Instagram before, and nearly two-thirds of Aussie small businesses say the platform has helped them increase sales. We’re committed to building our Instagram shopping tools for both customers and businesses, and these new updates provide new pathways to inspiration and connection for our community.”