Social networking app Instagram is seeking to capitalize on the opportunity of e-commerce and is taking its first steps to expand its retailing business with new shopping features.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s new head of Instagram, outlined his plans for the platform in an interview with the Financial Times, stating that he hoped to “meaningfully connect the dots” between shoppers, retailers and manufacturers, and popular Instagram influencers.
NEW REVENUE STREAMS THROUGH E-COMMERCE
According to Mosseri, the introduction of functions such as the new native checkout feature and the shopping bag functionality which the company rolled out in the United States and several countries in Europe last year, is part of its strategy to uncover new revenue streams through e-commerce.
ASSISTING BUSINESSES TO INCREASE SALES
Instagram’s new shopping experience makes it easier for people to find, evaluate and track relevant products on Instagram. Posts with tags have an icon that makes discovery simple and users can easily tap to see more details from products featured in posts, and even click to a business’s website if they are ready to buy.
“With 80% of people following a business account, and a daily global community of over 600 million, Instagrammers want to explore and find new things from brands they love and businesses want more opportunities to build relationships with these valuable customers.”, stated Mr. Mosseri.
The platform has rolled out new shopping features to thousands of businesses that sell apparel, jewelry or beauty products in the US. In April, they announced that shopping on Instagram will be available to even more countries, including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.
Instagram’s recently tried initiatives include "shoppable" posts, which enable users to buy products without leaving the app, with features like in-app checkout and shopping bags for storing their purchases.
Learn more about shopping on Instagram HERE.
ONLINE AND MOBILE SHOPPING ON THE RISE
Instagram , which is owned by Facebook, uses ad targeting to analyze its users shopping patterns and is planning to expand the advertisements to the Explore tab - a popular section attracting more than half of its billion users every month.
The platform’s e-commerce ambitions are similar to those of Facebook, which is also seeking to introduce new in-app shopping tools.
Other companies looking to take advantage of online retailing include PayPal, which is launching the PayPal Commerce Platform that provides shopping infrastructure for small businesses.
Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payments service, has gone live in 13 new countries last month, including Greece, Portugal, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia. The service allows users of Apple products (iPhone,Mac, iPad and Apple Watch) to make payments for goods and services online, as well as in the iOS apps.
According to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, ApplePay will be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019.