Photo-sharing platform Instagram has recently rolled out a new feature that allows users to shop from the site.
The Instagram Shopping feature was introduced on Tuesday this week, with the purpose of making it easier for brands that utilise the platform to direct potential customers to their store websites without having them compromise on the time spent on Instagram itself. This basically means that although a user may be shopping with a brand, they are still using Instagram simultaneously.
The feature had undergone a long period of testing in the US, and 12 months after these initial tests began, Instagram is now ready for users across another eight nations around the globe to have access to this feature, with the possibility of it hitting the rest of the world in the near future.
The eight additional countries with access to the Shopping button are the UK, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Germany and Brazil.
Prior to this feature being introduced, third party services were already available on the site that would make posts appear ‘shoppable’, but the new Shopping feature now gives users the power to shop directly between the two sites by using a virtual price tag placed onto the posts.
When browsing a post from a publisher, the user can tap on one of the shopping tags, which appear as a pop-up in a similar way to the pop-ups for tagged users. These will give the user the details of the product and price, along with a link to the product on the store’s website.
This could be a good feature for users as it could potentially save a bit of time, as users will not have to close Instagram, open up the store’s website and search through the catalogue of products to find the item they have just been perusing on the social site.
Although users can find the items they may wish to purchase on Instagram, the final transaction still needs to occur on the store’s website, so cannot be directly completed on the Facebook-owned social media site.
According to Jim Squires, the global head of business at Instagram, during the 12 month trial of the feature in the US, the shoppable feature became quite popular, with up to 80% of those involved in the testing following a shoppable brand as a result.
Users can access the shopping feature in many ways – through posts that appear in the regular news feed, through a search of the profile of the company they are interested in or through a direct message. All shopping posts are marked with a little shopping bag icon to highlight to users that the feature is available.