Instagram will add e-commerce options to its TikTok rival Reels later this year. Influencers and marketers explain how it will impact their business.

Instagram Shopping

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Instagram is gearing up to become a one-stop-shop for e-commerce and content. 

Last week, Instagram added the ability for creators and brands to link to products on IGTV (Instagram’s YouTube-like video feature) using shopping buttons (referred to as tags) that allow users to directly purchase products in-app through Instagram Checkout. It will introduce the same capabilities to Reels, its short-form TikTok competitor, later this year.

For brands, it provides a more direct way to market products to consumers using the app’s video features. And for creators, this unlocks a new way to work with brands and sell their own products, such as merchandise. In September, TikTok also started testing in-video shopping for its creators, the app’s first e-commerce push. 

“I feel like shopping tags are a step in the right direction,” said Anna OBrien, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with over 500,000 Instagram followers and seven million on TikTok. 

“The number one thing I get asked on every Reel I make is: Where did I buy that?” OBrien said. “It’s a no-brainer to utilize this feature.” 

“I think it’s a really great idea,” said Sam Hwang, an Instagram influencer with 66,000 followers. “Reels are way more interactive than a static post will ever be.” While she hasn’t yet used shopping tags on her own posts, she would be open to testing it out on her Reels if a brand were interested.

Instagram has introduced a series of new updates in 2020 that have expanded its e-commerce features, including adding virtual storefronts, allowing creators to sell their own products, and shopping on Instagram Live.

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But shopping features are still limited. Creators can only use shopping tags once they’re approved by the brand and only if the brand has enrolled itself in Instagram Checkout (the e-commerce platform within the app that allows users to directly purchase products). 

“So if I want to showcase a small business, I can tag [their account], but my users won’t be able to shop those pieces,” OBrien said. 

Shopping tags on Instagram can appear as in-photo tags or a product button in a story slide that directs users to Instagram Checkout. In the case of IGTV, a shopping button appears at the bottom of the video with a collection of every product mentioned, which users can click on and purchase without leaving the app.

Before Instagram introduced its own shopping features, the only way to direct users to products from brands was through links, which were often set up as affiliate links that sent users to a separate website or app. Affiliate links are a way for creators to make money through sales and typically they’ll earn between 1% and 20% in commission.

These links are often found in Instagram Stories or bios, but cannot be used in captions on photos or videos. Some creators may include a shortened affiliate link in a caption on a post or Reel, but the link is not functional in the app. 

Unlike affiliate links, though, Instagram’s shopping tags do not yet offer a commission …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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