Stop everything. On November 7, Instagram will launch a series of e-commerce features that will allow brands to tag products and sell them directly from the app.
It looks like Instagram is about to beat everyone to it. Social commerce has been in the talks for months (maybe even years) but no one – except perhaps Pinterest – has even come close to really doing it. And that’s exactly what Instagram is about to launch next week.
Beginning on Nov. 7, Instagram will be testing a series of new e-commerce features with 20 retail brands in the US. These brands will be able to tag products in photos, supply product information, and redirect consumers to their websites with “Shop Now” buttons.
Jim Squires, Director of Market Operations at Instagram, explains:
Mobile has changed how we shop. When people are in the store, they are looking at their phones, researching products. You have a shop window where you see products and you get inspired, and you’ve got the cash register where you make the purchase and then buy it. What’s missing is the exploration in between those two things. That’s what we’re looking to solve.
The truth is that Instagram has become a very important visual app for fashionistas across the globe and many users had long-wished for an easy way to purchase apparel they discovered on the app.
Instagram users in the US, will soon see a “Tap to view products” button on selected Instagram posts. Once tapped, descriptions and prices will pop up on their screen for up to five products that are featured in the post.
Users can then tap on a product to go to another post that provides more information, or swipe left to move on to other items featured in the same post. Each product post will have a “Shop Now” button that will redirect the user to the brand website, where they can make a purchase.
JackThreads, Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, J.Crew, Kate Spade, and Macy’s, are among the brands that will start testing the new e-commerce features as early as next Monday. Instagram will then evaluate the results, before deciding to roll out the features globally.