In a potentially huge boon for Instagram influencers and marketers, the photo and video-sharing platform is set to pilot ecommerce features next week with an initial group of 20 participating brands, including BaubleBar, J.Crew, Macy’s, Target, and Warby Parker. The aim of the new features is to provide more detailed product information within Instagram, though consumers must ultimately leave the app in order to make their final purchases.
Each of the participating brands will be able to share posts that have a special icon to the bottom left of a photo, which, when tapped, will showcase price tags for up to five products per image. Once these price tags are tapped, additional details will open about each respective product. If users opt to tap a ‘Shop Now’ link, they will be transported directly to the company’s website to check out. Here’s a video showcasing the new features in action:
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“Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new features. Other participating brands include Abercrombie & Fitch, Chubbies, Coach, Hollister, JackThreads, Kate Spade New York, Levi’s, Lulus, Michael Kors, MVMT Watches, Tory Burch, and Shopbop.
Initially, shoppable photos will only be available to a select group of iOS users in the U.S., but Instagram expects to explore product recommendations, product showcasing, global expansion, and the ability to save content as the ecommerce features continue to roll out. “We want to understand how to deliver the most seamless shopping experience for consumers and businesses on Instagram,” the company says, “and ultimately mobile.”
“This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile,” JackThreads CMO Ryan McIntyre said in a statement. “Our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds — allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”