Instagram *may* be venturing into the world of e-commerce very soon. It’s currently fairly easy to shop products you see on Instagram – both through Shopping on Instagram and with second party apps like Like To Know It – not to mention the update Monday that now allows users to shop via Stories and the Explore page. But pursuing a standalone app dedicated solely to shoppable content could be a game-changer – and is sure to provide a plethora of new opportunities for both brands and influencers to leverage their existing following on a new platform.
As it is, more than 25 million businesses are on Instagram, and 2 million of them are advertisers. Part of the draw for many Instagram users is the ability to discover new brands, celebrities and influencers to follow. Ease of shopping is also a plus for millennials and generation z – in fact, millennials make 54% of their purchases online, and that number will only increase with time.
According to The Verge, the alleged new app will allow users to browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app. More than one billion people use Instagram. Leveraging that community is so impactful because shoppers will be able to purchase from within an app format that they’re already comfortable with and enjoy using.
Brand loyalty and social media go hand-in-hand. Without brand trust, users won’t be purchasing items from an app founded by a social media company. Recognizing that social media has the ability to influence the decisions we make in our real lives is powerful for brands. The key is finding a mix of content that is sales-focused but also provides value to your target consumer. If your brand is showcasing inspiring, valuable and relevant content, more likely than not they’ll return to your brand when they’re ready to purchase the product.
But with a new app comes new responsibility. While it most likely won’t be difficult to amass a new herd of followers in this new Instagram-owned app, it might be awhile before consumers think of this as their go-to source for shopping.
Regardless, this new endeavor might just be a peak into the future of social media’s growing involvement in e-commerce and the shopping habits of the future.