The social media giant is using its power in reaching millions of consumers to offer direct shopping opportunities. It is a natural fit for the platform that specializes in highlighting the latest trends while encouraging interaction with celebrities and other social media influencers.
In the past, Instagram used its advertising prowess to simply reach customers and promote brands. However, a series of changes by Instagram has enabled users to now shop directly through the portal. Previously, users would see a product being advertised or promoted by an influencer and would have to go outside of the site using the links to actually purchase the item.
This changed in March when Instagram launched a new checkout option that enables users to purchase select products directly from the app. Users are now able to shop directly from Instagram’s popular Stories and Explore pages.
Instagram has always been a leader in promoting new styles and trends through its user interaction with brands, celebrities, and influencers. These new direct shopping tools simply take the hassle out of the shopping process by allowing users to browse and directly purchase the products that they like through the social media portal.
According to Deutsche Bank, shopping directly through Instagram could generate $10 billion by 2021. A new checkout system is being tested by many companies, including Nike, Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics, Warby Parker, and Prada. Adidas spokesperson Maria Culp said that the athletics wear leader is partnering with Instagram to increase its reach to customers through social media platforms.
Many analysts worry that companies will not be able to turn a significant profit by selling their products and services through Instagram. Instagram has not disclosed the fee that it demands from retailers when shoppers purchase an item through its portal. Users are also not able to purchase products from multiple companies at the same time, unlike when shopping through e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
While its future is still uncertain, Instagram is forging ahead with its plans to get ahead of the opportunity to use social media connections to shop online.