Instagram Rolls Out New Shopping Features in Stories and Explore

Instagram Shopping has been at the forefront of social media marketers minds for some time now after the social media platform tested their new shopping feature on Instagram Stories back in June with a select number of eCommerce brands. On Monday 17th September however, the digital community finally got the announcement they’ve been waiting for as Instagram confirmed that they will be rolling out a new way to shop online to all users, along with a personalised shopping channel listed in the Explore tab…

What’s New?

Instagram has announced two new features that bring with them some exciting opportunities for both brands and users.

Firstly, Instagram is expanding the test of shopping tags within Stories. Back in June the tags were only available to a number of brands for testing purposes. Following a successful reception, with more than 90 million accounts per month reportedly tapping on the shopping bag tag, the tags will now be made available to accounts in 46 countries. This means that when viewing a story, users can quickly tap on a product to find out more.

During the announcement, Instagram stated:

“More than 400 million accounts come to Stories every day to feel closer to their favorite accounts. And with one-third of the most-viewed stories coming from businesses, we’re excited to see how Shopping in Stories enable brands to tell an even deeper story about what’s behind their products.”

In addition to rolling out shopping tags for all users, Instagram will also be introducing a dedicated shopping channel within the Explore tab. Here, users can find products from the brands they follow whilst also discovering new related brands. The feature complements the new “Topics” channel which launched back in June. From here users can effortlessly browse through images which relate to their interests, allowing them to discover new accounts and brands to potentially follow.

What does this mean for businesses?

Offering ease of use on mobile devices, instant connectivity, and a visual approach to content consumption, Instagram is undoubtedly one of the leading digital platforms available today for enabling people to connect with friends and interests all from one place. In fact, just two months ago the platform hit one billion monthly active users, attracting users of all ages and becoming very popular with influencers. With the addition of shopping tags and dedicated shopping channels, it looks like the social media platform is set to reach even greater heights as it takes on the eCommerce world – providing users with an interactive space to engage with brands and friends whilst also being inspired.

The roll out of shopping features to all users is huge news for both businesses and marketers who act on their behalf as Instagram is now establishing itself as more than just a marketing platform as now it is evolving into an eCommerce channel in it’s own rights. With Stories receiving so much exposure daily, adding shopping tags make it possible for users to find out more about a product in an unobtrusive manner and with little to no effort. What’s more, the new features also allow brands to link posts up to specific product pages and CMS pages, further bridging the gap between the social media platform and the wider web…

Reflecting upon the new update, Instagram stated:

“Shopping is more than an errand – it’s also about what you discover along the way. For many people on Instagram, shopping is an entertaining way to get inspired and connect with new and interesting brands. We’ll continue to explore the right features and experiences to make Instagram the best place to shop from your favorite brands and find inspiration.”

It’s safe to say that the world of eCommerce just got a lot more interesting…

If you’re interested in finding out more about Instagram Shopping and how you could incorporate the new features into your digital marketing strategy, get in touch today! With the Shopping Channel set to roll out globally over the next few weeks, and tags now available to all users, there’s no time like the present to explore the platforms new eCommerce features.