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Published on July 25th, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan

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Everything you need to know about the Instagram’s new Shopping Features

Imagine that a million stores just for you selling the things you are likely to buy. That too on the socializing app which you spend your time liking your interests. This is possible with the new shopping features over Instagram and Facebook. Yes! Instagram and Facebook want you to transform and upgrade you from “like” to “buy”.

Instagram and Facebook socializing apps came a long way from photo sharing socialization to a new way of marketing called social media marketing. Today they even extend their wings and expand to the new features in the app, planning to offer possibly the best services they could, enabling the customers to discover and buy the products right from these apps.

Social media apps store the information of the content you like. It could be brands, products, and product categories. Other businesses use social media for retargeting until Instagram and Facebook decided to sell those products themselves directly by entering into the avenue of e-commerce.

Many markets saw a surge in e-commerce businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic. E-commerce accounts for 15% of US retail business but post pandemic attack, traditional brick and mortar shops were forced to shut down. This took the equation to 27% of e-commerce contribution in the whole retail. The situation is similar in countries like India too. This is a good sign for companies like Amazon. Now, Facebook and Instagram are also aiming to make the most of this situation.

Instagram “Shop”

Instagram came up with a new update of the “Shop” option in the search field in the app. Based on your previous interests and likes, the products and the product categories are displayed in the feeds with their price tag. You can open the product of your interest and the link provided directs you to the seller website where you can make the purchase.

About Instagram Shopping (How it works)

Instagram shopping enables the businesses to find new market places where they can find the right customers using the past browsing and liked posts on Instagram. This is more likely to target the right customers with the right product.

In Instagram shopping, you can share featured products through either organic posts or stories. People can also discover your product by searching. When the customer taps the product sticker in your post or story, it directs to the product description story. The details like product images, description of the product and the pricing mentioned in that page.

The option of “View on Website” directs the customer to the seller website where the purchase can be done. The seller need to mention the other details like transit time, warranty on the product if any and the other required details.

How Small & Medium size businesses in India Transform

Instagram introduced several add-on features over the years facilitating commerce on its platform. They introduced a “Shop now” tag at the end of a few sponsored posts in 2018, which direct to the seller website. Apart from these “Shoppable Tags”, the added feature of “Shop” helps many sellers to sell directly their products using Instagram to the targeted customers.

This enables the sellers not just to promote but to sell directly through Instagram. They can place their best priced products where promotion and sales happen in a single window. Businesses like Amazon and Flipkart come with the greatest deals but need social media apps to promote them. There are also a few coupon websites which are meant specially to provide great deals on various products. Sellers placing their products on e-commerce sites also need to invest in social media marketing and re-targeting. This can be minimized to a possible extent.

This helps many small and medium sized businesses and few niche product sellers who cannot find right way to market their products and transform their businesses. New young entrepreneurs who come up with unique products and cannot find a way to sell their products, Instagram can become a big platform.

For now, the Instagram shop is limited to few product categories mostly based on lifestyle but they are planning to extend their portfolio and strongly compete with the generic e-commerce businesses. This will definitely be an opportunity to establish your online presence strongly. So, without any delay, it’s better to start and habituate to sell on Instagram and Facebook.

Updates for Instagram product tagging feature for the Sellers

Instagram wants its app to be a secure place for purchase. They came up with a new strict policy note for the sellers. They have to comply with their policies. The sellers should not manipulate their audience by posting fake products or wrong pricing. This may lead to halt your seller provision on Instagram and will lose access to your account on Instagram and Facebook.

The products that you tag on Instagram needs to represent your business and your own domain. Which means, they must have a product listing to checkout on your own website. Affiliate marketing on Instagram shopping will not be an option anymore.

The seller’s Instagram account must have demonstrated trustworthiness including an authentic establishment presence. This also includes a sufficient follower base and regular updates.So, your account should have a bunch of followers and should be posted with new updates regularly. You need to be engaged with your followers regularly so that your account adds points on trustworthiness factor.

Instagram Checkout

Instagram Checkout is a feature of Instagram where the customer can make a purchase within the app. It is a two tap process to turn Instagram followers into loyal customers. No need to go into the seller website to make the purchase. This feature was launched in US market in 2019 and is yet to release in India. Few selected brands in US and few selective markets started selling their products directly through Instagram. If this gets launched in India, Instagram becomes nothing lesser to Amazon and who knows, sellers may choose Instagram over Amazon.

Impact on Future E-Commerce Business

The e-commerce in Instagram is growing rapidly and it is definitely an eye catcher for the Indian businesses. Businesses like Amazon does not actually know what you like. Social media is the place where your likes and interests lie and you scroll and browse.So, the job to fetch you the right feed is comparatively easier for Instagram and Facebook and sell the products right away unlike Amazon. The growth of commerce over Instagram isn’t unnoticed anymore and many small and medium businesses started approaching Instagram and Facebook to sell their products. After all, you approach where you get the best services and great deals.

The pandemic constraints are also forcing the businesses to go online. Customers prefer the same as they prefer safety.This is the correct time for the social media giants to crack the opportunity and they are on it.

Brands perceive the Instagram checkout as a meaningful option of conversion for the customers when it is rolled out to everybody, as it tastes its initial success in US. With a handful of 26 brands in March 2019, now after a year, now hundreds of brands are now trailing the new checkout feature in the US. With the growth phase for e-commerce in India, it does not take much time for the popular app like Instagram to become a competitor for the existing e-commerce giants.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels
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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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