• Man hand touching on Apple iPhone 6s button and open Instagram iOS app on office desk

Instagram Adds Shopping Tags to Boost Product Discovery

Instagram’s looking to up their eCommerce game with the addition of new shoppable tags in photos.

Instagram Shopping

Just as it sounds (and as shown in the above image), on pho­tos from select­ed retail­ers, users will now see a “Tap to view prod­ucts” tag in the bot­tom left of the image. Once tapped, a new set of tags will appear over­laid on the post denot­ing prod­ucts and their prices. Users can then tap to find out more infor­ma­tion, tak­ing them to a spe­cif­ic prod­uct page for each item. And if you want to make a pur­chase, you can tap through to be linked to the rel­e­vant prod­uct page on the web.

It’s a sim­ple, effec­tive way to encour­age more shop­ping behav­ior on the app, and is very sim­i­lar to how Pin­ter­est is going about boost­ing prod­uct dis­cov­ery options on their plat­form, with their visu­al search func­tion­al­i­ty — through that works based on image recog­ni­tion and visu­al match­ing, not with brands direct­ly.

Instagram Shopping gif

The scope of Instagram’s tool is less ambi­tious, at least at this stage, and more indi­vid­u­al­ly focused. Only select­ed part­ners (16 of them) are able to uti­lize the new tools, and they need to work with Instagram’s team to upload the rel­e­vant images, with Insta­gram look­ing to expand the option more wide­ly after ini­tial tests.

Anoth­er area where Insta­gram isn’t in line with Pin­ter­est is in terms of on-plat­form pur­chas­es. As not­ed, the new option links you off to the rel­e­vant prod­uct page on the web and Insta­gram says they’re not look­ing to enable in-app buy­ing yet, which Pin­ter­est is doing with their Buyable Pins. This is anoth­er area that Insta­gram may build upon in future, but at present, the plat­form is only focused on enhanc­ing the adver­tis­er expe­ri­ence — as not­ed by TechCrunch:

Insta­gram won’t take a cut of pur­chas­es, and instead plans to mon­e­tize the prod­uct by lat­er allow­ing brands to pay to show their shop­pable pho­tos to peo­ple who don’t fol­low.”

Instagram Shopping Tagg

The most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit the new option could pro­vide is in avoid­ing hav­ing to write the dread­ed “link in bio” note in the post cap­tion to con­nect poten­tial cus­tomers to more infor­ma­tion about your prod­ucts. Insta­gram doesn’t cur­rent­ly allow links with­in posts, the only URL brands can uti­lize is the bio link, which has lead to many brands reg­u­lar­ly switch­ing up that link and re-direct­ing cus­tomer queries to it in an awk­ward workaround. “Link in bio” seems more and more out-dat­ed every day as the plat­form evolves fur­ther, but it’s wide­ly used across the net­work.

Instagram Search

Shop­pable tags would reduce the need for this makeshift solu­tion, imme­di­ate­ly improv­ing the user expe­ri­ence, while the non-intru­sive, ‘click for tags’ design of the func­tion seems to fit with the wider, aes­thet­ic focus of the app — i.e. you’re not going to sud­den­ly see a raft of images pop­ping up with price tags hang­ing from every prod­uct (you can only enter five tags per post either way).

Giv­en this, the shift towards more eCom­merce options makes sense for Insta­gram. Adding to that, research con­duct­ed by Insta­gram found that 60% of Insta­gram­mers learn about prod­ucts and ser­vices on the app, while 75% take actions like vis­it­ing sites, search­ing, or telling a friend after being influ­enced by a post on Insta­gram. It’s clear that the plat­form is already play­ing a role in the prod­uct dis­cov­ery process — mak­ing it eas­i­er, by reduc­ing the amount of web search­ing and off-plat­form link­ing required is good for both adver­tis­ers and users.

Prod­uct tags will be made avail­able to a group of iOS users in the US ini­tial­ly, with a wider roll­out com­ing in the near future.


By |2017-11-03T05:40:34+00:00November 3rd, 2017|Industry News|Comments Off on Instagram Adds Shopping Tags to Boost Product Discovery