Mobile has changed the way people shop. You browse products while waiting to be seated for dinner, make purchases on your commute into work, and compare prices online when you’re at a store to see what’s the better deal. In fact, more than 84% of smartphone users in the US browse, research or compare products via a web browser or mobile app.* While browsing and discovery is easy on mobile, finding more information about the specific products you see isn’t always as simple. On a platform known for its power of mobile discovery, today we’re excited to announce an easier experience to shop the products you love on Instagram.
Starting next week, we’re testing a way for our community to learn more about the items they view within an Instagram post. Most mobile shopping experiences today take people from the shop window right to check out—without giving consumers the opportunity to consider a product and get more information. However, in an internal survey, we learned that the vast majority of purchases take a day or longer, with only 21% of purchases made within a day.** Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase.
To test the new experience, 20 US-based retail brands including Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker will share posts that have more depth, making it easier for Instagrammers to review, learn about and consider the items that interest them.*** Each post will have a tap to view icon at the bottom left of a photo. When tapped, a tag will appear on various products in the post—showcasing up to five products and their prices. Once a tag is selected a new detailed view of the product will open. This functionality will bring important product information to the consumer earlier in the journey, all without having to leave the Instagram app to search. Then, if the consumer taps the Shop Now link from the product details view, they’ll go directly to that product on the business’ website, making it easier for them to buy the product they want.
“Instagram is where we reflect the interesting life of the kate spade new york girl through relatable social moments which highlight the products that are characters in her story,” says Mary Beech, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Kate Spade & Company. “This post features our favorite new bag and elements from our new personalization program that, together, make the bag uniquely hers. With this seamless shopping experience launching on Instagram, the possibilities for selling our products are endless.”
“Our community uses Instagram as an aspirational discovery platform and they’re looking to us for inspiration,” says Ryan McIntyre, CMO, JackThreads. “This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile. Instead of having to transition over to the JackThreads app, our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds—allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”
“Instagram and Warby Parker share a similar appreciation for beautiful design and seamless experiences. But right now, there isn’t a simple, clean way for us to share details about the products featured within our posts. Customers often have to ask us, which creates a bulky experience on both sides. We love how seamlessly integrated and consumer-centric this new experience is,” says Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO.
Instagram already is a great place for discovery on mobile. While consumer research informed the first step of this test, we expect to learn a lot from the businesses we’re working with in this early test. During this initial phase, the new features will be available to a group of people on iOS devices within the US. As we roll out further, we’ll explore product recommendations, ways products are showcased to shoppers, global expansion and the ability to save content so Instagrammers can take an action later. We want to understand how to deliver the most seamless shopping experience for consumers and businesses on Instagram, and ultimately mobile.
Sources: *eMarketer US Mobile Time and Activities StatPack, July 2016; **Path to Purchase 2016” by Kantar (Facebook-commissioned survey of 3,927 people ages 18+ in the US who recently made a purchase in one of the following categories: automobiles, auto insurance, auto parts, electronics or fashion), Aug 2016. “Recently” is defined as three months for Retail and one year for auto-related purchases.
***Sample participating brands include: Abercrombie & Fitch, BaubleBar, Chubbies, Coach, Hollister, J.Crew, JackThreads, kate spade new york, Levi’s Brand, Lulus, Macy’s, Michael Kors, MVMT Watches, Target, Tory Burch, Warby Parker, and Shopbop.