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Instagram Plans IG Shopping to Shake Up the Online Retail Space

If you're an e-commerce business/online retailer, Instagram is a very exciting space to be right now and it's no longer just for brand awareness and reach.

In recent months you're likely aware that Instagram has introduced shopping stickers and other features to allow you to promote your products, creating a visual shopfront that your customers are accustomed to using.

Instagram plans to take these exciting innovations even further with a recent ripple flowing through marketing circles that a new shopping-specific app is coming soon from Instagram - the aptly named IG Shopping.

Currently, "customers can find out more about a product from a single tap". Not only can they discover prices, but they can also see additional information such as details and links to the website to increase conversions.

To use the existing Shopping features your company must suit a few requirements including:

  • Your business must be located in the UK or a number of other countries (now widely available)
  • Your Instagram must have been converted into a business profile - find out how 
  • You must have a Facebook Catalogue set up so Instagram can pull in products from your site to allow you to create the in-post Instagram links

What is IG Shopping?

2018 has been a momentous year for Instagram, in terms of growth and innovation, with the platform reaching 1 billion monthly active users, launching IGTV and their roll-out of an impressive slew of iterations to its Stories feature.

The future of the platform may, however, be solidified by its foray into the online retail sector, with many signalling its Shoppable Posts and Shoppable Stories Stickers as signs of "a product that will undoubtedly transform how e-commerce brands utilise the platform going forward" (Source: Business.com).

Indeed, users can now purchase from your website and arrive at the "Add to basket" stage in just three taps, thanks to Shoppable Posts. But Instagram is hungry for more of the online retail space and with such a visual platform and active audience, its owners, Facebook, aren't slowing down with IG Shopping.

Recognising the opportunity to make waves, IG Shopping is rumoured to be a standalone shopping app that "will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app" (Source: The Verge).

It's worth pointing out everything from the name to the very concept of IG Shopping is just rumour at this stage, with Instagram declining to comment. But it's clear that Instagram has made huge in-roads and we can't imagine Facebook missing out on an opportunity to create a dedicated space for its massive audience of image-hungry users and advertisers, who've all perhaps turned their backs on Facebook itself, somewhat ironically, in the wake of various scandals.

Further reading from Thrive:

Instagram Plans IG Shopping to Shake Up the Online Retail Space