The holidays are here and Instagram has been thinking ahead! In anticipation of the busy holiday shopping season, Instagram announced three new features that make it easier for users to make purchases in the app and to keep track of all shopping ideas and inspirations in one place!
These updates have made it easier than ever for users to turn to Instagram for all of their holiday shopping needs, which makes it even easier for e-Commerce brands and businesses to connect with customers.
Among the updated shopping features are the Shopping Collection, the newly designed Shop tab, and the addition of Shopping in the video feed. In this article, I’ll be taking you through what these features can do, how they can make users want to browse through their feed to make purchases, create collections, and store creative gift ideas, and how these features can be a boon for your business.
Benefits of New Features
Back in September, Instagram expanded the shopping capabilities of the app to include shopping on the Stories features. The addition of product stickers in the Stories features make it easy for customers to click on the products they want. Now, when users are watching the behind-the-scenes stories from their favorite brands and see something they love and want, they can quickly tap on a product to learn more.
Instagram also announced a dedicated shopping channel in the Explore tab, creating a one-stop space for users to shop from the brands they follow, in addition to the brands they have not yet discovered.
These three new features were rolled out in November, just in time for the holidays! With these features, users can now create collections, purchase items from videos, and explore a new re-designed shopping tab.
The new Shopping Collection feature allows users to save products they encounter on a Story or Feed directly to their profile. This creates an easy way to browse and purchase items that catch the user’s eye and attention.
Now, with this feature, when users come across a must-have item, or even one that they might want to return to at a later time, they can save it to their shopping collection. When they’re ready to revisit their shopping wish-list, they can tap on their product tag, then tap the save icon in the bottom right corner.
Just as users can with existing collections, they can access their Shopping collection from their profile. It’s an easy way to keep an up-to-date wish list where they can store creative gift ideas for the holidays.
Using the Shopping collection feature requires just a few easy steps:
- Browse through the Feed or Story
- Find an item you like
- Tap the product tag
- Tap save icon in the bottom right corner
In addition to making the experience easier for users, it has a great benefit to any eCommerce business on the platform. Consumers are able to keep their eye on items that they are interested in by adding it to their collection. Once it’s there, the user just has to wait until the time is right to go to their collection and make the purchase.
Now, instead of looking at a product and forgetting it if they’re not ready to make the purchase right then, consumers will have the products with them until they make the purchase.
Newly Designed Shop Tab
Instagram is testing a redesign of the Shopping tab that allows users to view a business profile’s purchasable items in one place. This greatly benefits businesses, as it makes it easier for consumers to see the totality of a business’s products. Perhaps they’ll go to a business’s page for one specific item, and then they’ll browse through the other items and make more purchases.
With the redesign, when users visit a business profile, tap on the Shop button to see their products, such as the item name, price, and the post featuring the item. It’s a great way for consumers to browse all the products from a brand they love on Instagram, in one place.
To access the newly designed Shop tab, users must simply:
- Go to a business’s profile
- Tap on the Shop button to view products—including item name, price, and the post featuring the item
Shopping in Feed Videos
The third new shopping feature to be updated is the new ability for users to buy products from video posts. This feature is functionally similar to what Instagram added to image posts in September, with the shoppable product tags.
When a user sees a video in their feed from a brand they follow, they can tap the shopping tag in the bottom left corner to learn more about the featured product. Once again, this is a feature that benefits both consumers and businesses, as it makes it easier for users to interact with brands they love and the products they want.
Is There More to Come?
While these three features are already a pretty great update to the shopping capabilities of Instagram, the social platform may already have something more in store. There are rumors that there is another standalone shopping app that Instagram may be building that was not included in the rollout.
The rumored app would allow users to browse and buy products from businesses and merchants they follow within the platform.
It is clear by these updates and new features that Instagram is prioritizing retailers and giving businesses and brands more ways to get their products in front of users. Even better, Instagram is allowing this extra visibility without retailers having to put forth extra effort.
The shopping collection, business profile shopping tab, and new shop icon for videos are all positioned as user features, but ultimately they will benefit brands by widening exposure for the products they share on the platform.
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