The Facebook subsidiary is rolling out in-app e-commerce with Shopify
Hide your phones, hide your purses.
Facebook subsidiary Instagram has tied up with Shopify on a feature that allows its 500 million-plus daily active users to easily buy items they come across within its app. Starting this week, customers on a select merchant’s Insta page can tap on a photo and immediately access details like prices and availability. (Buyable items are identifiable by a little icon of a shopping basket on the top right of the image preview.) You can then complete your purchase with Instagram, rather than having to go through the hassle of copying a URL and pasting it into a separate browser.
Shopify has been testing the “Shopping on Instagram” function for several months. But this week, it’s publicly available to the 500,000 plus merchants it works with. Would-be Insta entrepreneurs have to set up an account with Shopify, get their hands on an Instagram business account and then apply for access. The Ottawa, Canada-based Shopify says it expects to enroll tens of thousands of merchants before the 2017 holiday shopping season commences. Approved retailers can tag up to five shoppable items per photo, but only those selling physical goods to customers in the United States are eligible for now.
It isn’t clear how many boutiques currently have access to Shopify’s collab with Instagram—those involved in the beta testing phase include fashion basics brand xkarla and Diff, a sunglasses label. It also appears that the shopping function is only available on Instagram’s app, and not on its rather rudimentary web page.
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 5, 2017
According to the e-commerce platform, $40 billion worth of goods have been sold through Shopify, whose other partners include Facebook and Pinterest. According to Sprout Social, a consultancy, Instagram is by far the medium which drives the most engagement—to a multiple ten times that of Facebook.
Estimates aren’t readily available for sales driven directly through social media apps, though empirical evidence suggests that mobile-driven e-commerce is an exponentially expanding endeavor. Most recently, Women’s Wear Daily reported that “superinfluencer” Arielle Charnas, who runs the popular Insta fashion account @SomethingNavy, drove over $1 million of sales to her Nordstrom collaboration line within 24 hours of its launch.
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