According to research, 84% of people who own smartphones browse, compare and buy products online. Seems like it’d be more, doesn’t it? Regardless, that’s a lot of users, and Instagram have finally caught onto the world’s best kept secret: Instagram is a terrific marketing tool. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, they’re introducing a new feature to make shopping online that much easier.
How does it work?
Instagram’s new function is supposed to help users discover and better understand products that tickle their fancy. Brands can tag products in their posts, creating a ‘tap to view’ icon. When users come across these posts and want to know more about the product, they click on the icon which highlights the product along with its price. Users can then go on to click the product for more details, and click on a ‘shop now’ button which transports them seamlessly to the store’s website.
What this means for consumers?
No, you’re not the only one who has discovered a product on Instagram, only to have to go back to your browser to search the product or the brand’s website for more info. Too many clicks, right? Instagram’s new function is being touted as consumer-centric because it lets consumers do exactly what they want to do: jump from a snazzy picture of a product they’re creaming for, straight to the website for the full low-down. Hello streamlined shopping.
What this means for marketers?
The laws of gravity state that what’s good news for consumers is great news for marketers. Instead of prompting our users to jump across a ravine, we can now pave them a path directly to purchase. Instagram’s internal research showed that nearly 80% of people take a day or longer to make up their minds and buy the damn thing. This indicates that consumers need time, and most importantly, information, to complete what they’ve set out to do: make a purchase.
Anything else we should know?
Don’t jump on to Instagram just yet, the function is still being tested in the States by an elite group of brands and consumers (uh-hem, why weren’t we invited?). Anyway, as soon as the new function is released, Instagram will be building on the feature by exploring ways to present products and even – get this – create a way for people to save products to explore later. Well, Instagram, welcome to the 21st century.