News that social media giant Instagram is spreading its 'shoppable' tags to eight other countries following a year-long trial in the US, has been welcomed by eCommerce expert Tryzens.
According to Tryzens' CEO, Andy Burton, although the opportunities presented by social media have been underexploited by the retail sector in Europe to date, this new development offers a golden opportunity for retailers to reach a larger share of the market and increase customer loyalty.
As of this week, Instagram has opened up its in-app shopping feature to businesses in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Canada, making it easier for brands to direct shoppers to their eCommerce store-fronts without compromising on the time users spend on the app itself.
Commenting on the development, Andy said: "This is great news for anyone trying to reach the market effectively through a channel they are already familiar with, and is arguably something that is long overdue. Instagram is already used to great effect by retailers and Brands looking to communicate with and engage with consumers, but the challenge is that it can be difficult to tempt Instagram's users off the site and therefore convert 'likes' into sales. The introduction of 'shoppable' tags solves this issue by removing friction from transactions. This could provide an important tool in the kit-bag of retailers looking to extend market reach, build awareness in the market and simplify conversion for consumers who are face so much choice online.
"Our research suggests that 85 per cent of millennials reach for their smartphones first when making purchases via the internet, and with 500 million people using Instagram each day, the market potential for retailers to capitalise on this move is huge. By working with Instagram, retailers will be able to reach the largest possible audience, who can purchase an item in a matter of seconds due to advancements in simplified payments on websites from the likes of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal," Andy continued.
When looking to the future, retailers should consider the potential strain on their marketing stack a large volume of Instagram visits/purchases can have. As more celebrities and influencers start featuring products, a curated Instagram feed is set to become an essential 'converting' marketing channel. In the fast-paced world of social media, where a posts' lifespan can only be a few hours long, being agile enough to monetise on the value of a post is key. There are a number of specialist content 3rd parties that allow online retailers to elevate Instagram posts by making them part of their live site imminently, thus further taking advantage of the buyable post feature.
Solution providers such as Amplience, with its UGC (User Generated Content) Module product offering, allow retailers to import content from Instagram and quickly roll it out to the live site. UGC modules, paired with buyable posts and the proportion of mobile device visitors has the potential to drive an increase in mobile conversion, where many retailers have found themselves struggling.
Andy concluded: "There is logical excitement around Instagram's 'shoppable' content and I am sure we will see further advances in the market as whole as additional ways to connect user and brand generated content with an intuitive, immersive and efficient shopping experience come to the fore. Making the social commerce experience as easy and seamless as possible is critical to increasing conversions. However, retailers need to ensure that their support systems and back end operations are fit for the social media revolution – by which I mean being able to respond to enquiries in near real time, engage with consumers in the right tone of voice, and, able ensure orders are fulfilled effectively requiring a single view of customer, single view of stock and single view of inventory to be truly agile."