Instagram Connects Shopping to Browsing

Instagram announced today a new connection within the app to product information and then an easy click to an actual purchase on a retailers app or website. Starting next week Instagram will be testing this feature with 20 US retailers including Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker. This is likely the beginning of making Instagram a massive consumer marketing platform similar to Pinterest.

Specifically, Instagram is adding a tap to view icon at the bottom left of a photo, which when clicked tags up to 5 items in the photo with prices and a link. Once a tag is clicked, more info about the product will appear including a Shop Now link which takes the user to the retailers product page. Eventually, expect Instagram to enable in-app purchases instead of sending customers to other apps or websites.

“This functionality will bring important product information to the consumer earlier in the journey, all without having to leave the Instagram app to search,” noted Instagram. “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.”

“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, Chief Marketing Officer at Kate Spade & Company. “This post (above) 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.”

Instagram is currently testing this feature with a subset of people in the US that are using iOS devices. They plan to learn from that, add additional functionality and then roll out globally.

“We want to understand how to deliver the most seamless shopping experience for consumers and businesses on Instagram, and ultimately mobile,” said Instagram.