On 16 July 2020, Instagram announced the official launch of Instagram Shops, which will showcase items that are for sale on users’ feeds. This new section will appear on the “Explore” tab of the app.
This new feature will allow users to discover and purchase items across Instagram’s platform more easily. It is currently available in the US and will soon be available worldwide.
The new Shop feature will show users personalized product recommendations which are based on the content and the accounts that they follow. The Shop feature was being tested on a small pool of users last month, but it is gradually being rolled out to more users. This comes to supplement Facebook’s movement towards making Facebook and Instagram more efficient eCommerce platforms.
This new Shop function will feature the products that businesses tag as for sale, and they will be factored into Instagram’s algorithm. Soon, the Shop feature will have its own tab on the app. The tab is already being tested with a small user pool, and once fully operational, it will be able to showcase the platform’s shopping capacities even further.
Facebook Pay is also going to be rolled out in the United States within the next few weeks. This will allow a more seamless way of paying for products bought on Facebook and Instagram, and it will also provide a way for users to easily donate to causes through the platforms.
More and more businesses have turned towards eCommerce, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many users have turned to online shopping as well because of its convenience. These new options offered by Facebook and Instagram seek to make the entire experience more user friendly.
Implications for Marketers:
This new addition to Instagram will give marketers more ways to showcase and highlight brands’ products. Brands will be more easily discoverable based on what products and services they offer, and the social media platforms will become more dynamic spaces for brands looking to advertise their businesses.