Instagram announced Tuesday that it will be testing an in-app shopping feature starting next week.
"With this seamless shopping experience launching on Instagram, the possibilities for selling our products are endless,” Mary Beech, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Kate Spade & company, said in Instagram's official blogpost. Kate Spade is one of the 20 U.S.-based retail brands that will be part of the testing.
Instead of taking the audience straight to e-commerce portals from posts, Instagram will partner with brands to create posts with more depth and easier access. Each post will have a tap-to-view icon at the bottom left. Once customers tap on the icon, a tag would appear on various products in the post, showcasing up to 5 products and their prices. Once the tag is selected, a detailed preview of the product will open.
To make a purchase, a consumer can tap on the "shop now" link from the product details view. Only then, the consumer will be redirected to an affiliated business website. The feature is aimed at providing the consumer the ease of viewing a range of products without having to traverse through different websites/apps.
Consumer research will be the first step of the test, during which the new features will be available to a select group of iOS users in the U.S.
Once the feature is rolled out for the general public, it is expected to feature product recommendations, different ways of showcasing products to shoppers and the ability to save content so Instagrammers can take action later. The company also announced global expansion of the feature but hasn't revealed any dates or timeframe for the same.
Many brands such as Victoria's Secret have already been using Instagram to showcase their range of products and this feature could help utilize the app even better.