You may have heard some significant rumblings around Instagram recently. Instagram is reportedly working on a standalone app dedicated to Shopping, called IG Shopping – ironic! While no one from Instagram has officially confirmed the move in this direction, there is ample evidence in recent updates that has led many to believe that this standalone app could be the end goal. (Irish Tech News, 2018).
Instagram has recently begun to roll out the ‘Shopping’ tab within the explore tab. This allows users to browse relevant retailers and potentially purchase their products. The relevancy of retailers and products is all based upon a user’s follows, followers and interactions. Realistically, this can be likened to real-world window shopping. You’re on your way to dinner, the intention of being in the vicinity is not to shop. However, you see something that catches your eye and next thing you know you’re in the store, you’ve swiped your card and the proud owner of *insert item here*. As it stands, most people do not use Instagram to shop. However, if the ability to buy something that you have seen (and liked), is there within the platform, most people will take advantage of this.
Bearing in mind that navigation to shopping without intention is easier on virtual platforms, Facebook Newsfeed Ads and Instagram Stories that drive users to ‘Shop Now’ are seeing increasing results (Forbes, 2018). Online shopping within an existing platform is clearly a marketer’s dream. The objective is to move from focusing on the more impulsive shopper, to becoming a space where people actively go to shop. This is clear in the rolling out of Shoppable Stories, similar to Shoppable posts, have an interactive pop-up experience, making things easier for users to shop. The ultimate game changer, the ability to purchase directly through the app. Will this be on the cards for Facebook and Instagram in the not so distant future?
In addition to the rollout of ‘Shopping’ into the Instagram Explore tab, they are also preparing to launch a personalised Shopping Channel for each user. This channel will contain product galleries for multiple retailers that are, you guessed it, personalised to each individual user.
If all of this Shopping hasn’t excited you, don’t worry – Instagram still has something for you. Instagram has recently confirmed that GIFs are now being rolled out into Direct Messages.
Let’s face it, a GIF speaks 1,000 words.