Instagram Announces New Plans for Online Retailing

online retailing

Instagram has announced upcoming plans for online retailing, following on from the successful addition of the shopping feature last year.

The social network has been trialling different methods of allowing users to make purchases directly on the platform. The demand for an enhanced shopping experience has become clear, with users, brands and influencers keen to become involved. While companies can already tag products and redirect shoppers to product pages, new advancements such as ‘checkout’ and ‘shopping bag’ will now enable users to make in-app purchases.

Head of Instagram, Adam Moserri, outlined his intentions to revolutionise Instagram as a platform for retailers. Making it clear that retail is a large focus for the platform’s development, it looks as though Instagram will aim to make in-app shopping beneficial for all parties.

Moserri explained that he was “very excited” to take “reasonable” commissions on sales, adding: “It should be very return-on-investment-positive for the sellers involved.”

It is expected that in the coming years, users will be able to tailor their experiences. Moserri spoke of shoppers’ varying preferences, with some looking for specific items, while others prefer to browse online. To facilitate either, a virtual form of “window-shopping” could be created, as well as enabling “a specific genre like fashion or electronics” to be viewed.

In March, 20 fashion brands were given the opportunity to sell items directly through Instagram, partnering with PayPal for payment. Influencers and content creators quickly became involved and customers reported positive experiences. If this is anything to go by, there is certainly a high demand from users to view items they like and purchase without having to leave the app.

Fully backed by Moserri, the 36-year-old used his first interview on Instagram’s business strategy since he took over last October, to emphasise what could be the future of online retailing.

The project continues to pick up pace, with Moserri adding: “This isn’t a one year thing, this is like a five to 10-year project.”

Mike Ni, CMO at RichRelevance explained ways in which retailers can reach the audience online while still directing users to their own sites. He explained: “Many brands, including L’Oreal and Nike, have played the game by offering a subset of products on channels like Amazon, ultimately driving traffic back to owned properties, be that a store or website, for more unique selections as well as increasingly personalized experiences.”