Instagram Is Beefing Up Its E-Commerce Capabilities
As Instagram nears its Oct. 6 birthday, perhaps its overseers are experiencing the commercial version of the seven-year itch. Though they have a highly popular social networking platform on their hands, with more than 800 million users and over 200 million devotees to its eponymous Stories feature, they know, like every other business should, that they need to evolve to remain relevant. Through a recent change to Stories and another popular element, Instagram is giving brands more opportunities to market their wares, a move that could inspire not only more advertising revenue but, more importantly for the promotional products industry, a shot at further renown for established companies and a first taste of glory for burgeoning businesses and entertainment figures.
Everyone, it seems, wants a share of the latest means to market products and services. So, three months after a test run of the Instagram Stories commercial platform, the social network has happened upon what could likely be a lucrative collaboration for all involved parties. Long gone are the days when social media served only as a medium for sharing status updates, images and videos, and Instagram wants to be what instantly comes to mind when enterprises and end-users contemplate how to promote their goods and wield their purchasing power. Since the Explore function has been a popular choice since its 2012 implementation, Instagram bolstered it by making it a curated feed through which users can secure looks at their favorite brands and nab their latest offerings.
Instagram launches new shopping features https://t.co/dibSFLjCaf
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 17, 2018
One could say this move was a given since Instagram obviously does not want to fall behind Snapchat, its images-and-video-upload-content contemporary and competitor. Snapchat has become a common topic for Promo Marketing recently because of the multimedia messaging application’s growing interest in helping entities to move products.
With the alteration to the Stories feed, through which end-users can learn more about goods simply by tapping shopping bag icons that appear on their images (a boon that will affect businesses in 46 countries) and the expansion of Explore, Instagram, whose shopping tags result in 90 million monthly taps, is compelling businesses and advertisers to join the fold to “amplify their reach and juice the conversion channel,” according to TechCrunch.
With respect to what the growth of Instagram Stories and Explore mean for the promo industry, Plann crafted a 13-item-strong list of how businesses can benefit from making the functions components of their e-commerce and marketing strategies. The eighth and ninth reasons seem the most relevant, as they touch upon the quest to become and remain top of mind and address the ever-confusing question about when to post content and how to target it to a particular audience.
Since the commercial changes occurred only yesterday, it will be interesting to track what positives come from their implementation and to see if businesses, music artists and their entertainment peers choose to make branded merchandise a complement to the customary vendibles that end-users will no doubt be continuing to secure through the Stories and Explore possibilities.