Introducing IG Shopping from Instagram

7th September 2018

Just as the e-commerce worlds gets its collective head around the growing number of shopping and ad-related features on the current Instagram advertising platform comes news that the Facebook-owned image sharing social network is gearing up to launch a standalone shopping app.

 

Is Instagram becoming an e-commerce platform?

A report on 4th September from tech industry news site The Verge, suggests that the service is planning a major change from its current social media advertising model towards e-commerce. The new app is rumoured to be called IG Shopping will let users browse collections from merchants they follow and purchase directly within the app.

Current functionality on Instagram allows products to be labels using an overlay that diverts the buyer back to the website of the originating brand.

 

Growth potential for IG Shopping?

Instagram is a relatively young platform, so it’s not surprising to see rapid adoption rates.  In the business world there around 25 million business accounts, only around 2 million of those have been turned in to paid ad accounts.  With 80% of Instagram users following at least one business, a dedicated app would provide Facebook with even more ways of monetising its purchase.

 

The current platform from Instagram

Instagram began testing a shopping feature in November in 2016. This was rolled out to businesses beyond the test group in March 2017. Currently, companies can tag their image posts on the platform with individual products, allowing users to shop directly from photos. Instagram advertising is currently testing a feature that lets users shop from Instagram stories.

 

The threat to Shopify?

It remains to be seen how the new social service is geared, but if it is pushed towards smaller boutique brands with a limited website presence, it could become a rival for services such as Shopify buy giving brands an e-commerce space without the hassle of traditional website builds

Regardless of the outcome of this planned service from Instagram, social media advertising is growing quickly. With increased competition, we can assume that it will grow ever more rapidly.