Instagram Launches New Shopping Feature

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Victoria Doherty

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The hugely popular social media platform Instagram has just launched a new direct shopping feature for business owners in the UK. Instagram Shopping Service was first released in the US in 2017 and was a huge shift for the platform towards the booming e-commerce industry. The feature gives Instagram users the possibility to make seamless purchases direct from their feed, meaning businesses can catch them at their most inspired moments.

Where previously brands would have to list any items featured in images they posted in the image description, they now have the option of directly tagging products in their organic posts. This allows users to click on items they’re interested in to get more information or to buy a specific product via a link which takes them straight through to the company’s website. This saves them the hassle of having to search for the product after seeing it on Instagram.

Images that contain this feature even have a little shopping bag symbol when you’re on the business’ home page, so you can see which posts have tagged items in them. Marks and Spencer’s was one of the first companies to trial the new addition which is now available across the company’s Instagram page:

Once you click on a product’s tag it shows you a full size image of the product together with a link to the company’s website where you can purchase it.

Instagram’s Head of Business Development, Amy Cole, said:

“Shopping will give a seamless experience for users who want more information on products. They can go through Instagram without having to switch between apps and with a couple of taps buy the product.”

People use Instagram for inspiration, to discover new possibilities and explore new products. Having this feature on your company’s instagram page could mean that you potentially reach thousands more new customers by giving them seamless access to products that have caught their eye. As Marks and Spencer’s have shown, there is no limit to the products this feature applies to. From florists to clothes retailers, artisan bakeries and everything in between.

Customers can shop straight from their feed, which hugely enhances the social media experience.The feature also goes hand in hand with the boom in m-commerce as people shift from shopping on desktop to shopping on-the-go using their mobile devices

The feature is part of the platform’s Instagram for business tools and is available free to all UK businesses that have an Instagram business page and a product catalogue.

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