New Instagram shopping features now available to Aussie retailers

Elizabeth Barry 18 September 2018 NEWS

shopping instagram

Instagram users can now shop in their stories and in a new dedicated shopping space in Explore.

From today, retailers will be able to better leverage their Instagram audience through new shopping features launched by the global photo and video sharing app. The updates will see Instagram users able to shop from brands directly in stories as well as in a new dedicated shopping space in the Explore section.

Group industry director at Facebook ANZ Naomi Shepherd said Instagram has become the destination for the next generation of shoppers.

"Over half of young Australians have bought something through Instagram before and nearly two-thirds of Aussie small businesses say the platform has helped them increase sales. We're committed to building our Instagram shopping tools for both customers and businesses, and these new updates provide new pathways to inspiration and connection for our community."

The shopping capability was originally introduced through an integration with ecommerce giant BigCommerce in March this year. Now, expanded to stories, users will be able to tap on a product to learn more about it when watching a brand's story. The Shopping Channel in Explore will be personalised and be made up of brands already followed by users as well as brands suited to their interests. The channel will begin rolling out today and will be expanded globally in the coming weeks.

Speaking about the latest enhancement to the shopping features, BigCommerce chief product officer Jimmy Duvall said their goal was to ensure BigCommerce retailers had access to the latest tech innovations and could enable those quickly and easily.

Shopping in Instagram Stories, image from Spell & The Gypsy Collective

"BigCommerce merchants were some of the first to get access to shopping on Instagram functionality, and after seeing the immediate impact it had on customer engagement and sales growth, they have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to extend that product tagging to Instagram Stories. Today's announcement represents yet another way that our merchants are able to use social commerce to create meaningful connections with their customers."

The opportunity presented by Instagram's shopping capabilities is huge. There are over 1 billion active accounts worldwide on Instagram each month and over 80% of Instagrammers follow a business on the app. 63% of Australian small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say Instagram has helped increase sales for their business.

Lauren Skora, head of content at Stylerunner said: “The action of tapping the products, seeing prices and shopping all within Instagram stories creates a more seamless experience for the customer, as opposed to clicking a link to be navigated away from the space."

Mel Carrero, PR and marketing manager at Spell & The Gypsy Collective added that gaining insights on customers was a big draw.

"We have noticed less questions around pricing and product, as it is an easier way for them to see the pieces, so the connection is more convenient.”

Chief marketing officer at The Iconic, Alexander Meyer agreed, saying:

"Our customers love being able to connect with our product faster than ever before and we’ve seen this through increased engagement and discussion within post comments."

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