Social Media Marketing

The New World of Instagram Shopping


Have you ever seen a photo of something awesome on Instagram and wished you could buy it?

We’ve all been there.

Lucky for us, Instagram is now giving us the option to shop right from their platform. In a generation of people who are using their phones 24/7, this makes for plenty of opportunities for social advertising and marketing. With 300 million Instagram users, some checking multiple times a day, businesses can sell and market to a huge audience.

So what does this mean for social media marketing?

1. There is a large, built-in audience:

  • According to Pew Research Center, 49% of Instagram users are on the app daily. That’s a lot of potential shoppers. If you’re wondering how well this will work, take a look at this Free People Instagram, for example. The caption says “Click the link in our profile to shop this look…” It has 53,922 likes and 268 comments. Now, all 54 thousand of those users will be able to click “Shop now.” Less scrolling to find the “bio link,” means less effort, translating to more shoppers, and that’s just on one example of what this update can do.

2. Facebook ad targeting will be a feature

  • If you’re someone who creates ads on Facebook, you know that not only can you target by age and location, you can dig pretty deep into someone’s interests and hobbies, such as amount of children, what kind of cars they like, and if they prefer yoga or Pilates are all options. Creepy? Yes. Effective? Definitely. So, expect to see very similar Instagram targeting options for its owner: Facebook.

3. There will be more than just “shopping”

  • Call to action buttons will include a “Shop now,” “Book now,” “Download,” “Learn more” and “Sign up” options. So, you can say goodbye to “link in the bio.” This opens up a whole new world for not only retailers, but all sorts of other markets: Musicians, gyms, restaurants, classes, car dealers and more.

4. Who will be able to use this feature?

  • We won’t be sure who will be able to use this feature until Instagram releases all the details. To speculate, it may begin with just large companies. Instagram has been running ads since 2013 and only a handful of big companies, such as Nike, Under Armour and Pepsi, were able to run ads, so this may be the case for Instagram purchasing as well.

While we wait for more information from Instagram to come out, we can definitely conclude that this is a pretty sweet step for social media marketing and advertising. A social platform, which frequently thrives on friends tagging each other in posts, is now creating a new world for online shopping and browsing. For example, users can tag their friends in a book they might like and that friend can then purchase or download with the touch of a button without leaving the app.

Since Pinterest also announced that they will be adding a buy now feature, it looks like the social media advertising market is about to have a lot of changes coming our way.

Stay tuned for more updates.

All the best!

Grace Nonnemaker

Grace Nonnemaker is a Social Media Coordinator at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia-area advertising agency.{{cta(‘d5332389-d102-41b4-90f6-3f3d5c78bdb8’)}}