A Faherty poncho, botanical shorts from Life After Denim, and accessories from Birdwell: these are some of the few purchases staffers at Industry Leaders Magazine have made after seeing sponsored posts on Instagram. Soon, the app could give Amazon a serious run for its money.
Instagram is exploring a future into ecommerce, The Verge reports. The app called IG Shopping will allow users to browse collections of goods from brands that they follow and purchase them directly within the app.
If released, IG Shopping would become Instagram’s third standalone app. In June, the company launched IGTV, a longer-form video app hailed as a YouTube killer. It has also been testing a standalone version of Direct – a messaging app spun off Facebook Messenger.
Industry Leaders Magazine has reached out to Instagram for comment.
Instagram Vs Amazon
More than 25 million business already have Instagram accounts, and 2 million of them are advertisers. Four in five Instagram users follow at least one business. Surprisingly, two-thirds of visits to business profiles come from users who don’t follow that account.
A standalone app would allow Instagram to provide a platform for an increasingly popular activity on Instagram while also anchoring opportunities for income.
Vishal Shah, director of product for Instagram Business, said nearly 50 percent of business profiles don’t link to an outside website, suggesting that they see Instagram as a primary online presence. ‘Natively born’ businesses on Instagram often do the best on the platform.
Instagram has what Amazon and other etailers don’t have – an excess of data accumulated from Instagram ads on what people think is trendy. One of the ways Instagram wants to grow IG Shopping is by providing more detail about where users come from and what they do during or after that visit.
How will IG Shopping improve the shopping experience?
In the long run, Facebook, which owns Instagram, plans to introduce useful paid tools for businesses who are building their brands on Instagram, directly challenging platforms like Shopify. (Shopify is a Canadian ecommerce website builder that allows brands to design, develop, market and sell goods to consumers around the world.)
Plenty of businesses already sell such tools to brands on Instagram. Four Sixty, for instance, helps brands in creating shoppable photo galleries, post scheduling, content moderation, and other services.
Social commerce is the future of a seamless shopping experience. Did you know that Alibaba’s China’s e-commerce goliath has launched social experiences to its Taobao platform, allowing message and video chat between merchants and consumers?
Amazon isn’t too far behind in the game, either. It has launched Spark, a social media app, aimed at improving product discovery, and is seemingly inspired by Instagram.