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Instagram launches shopping function in the UK

Social media platform Instagram is unveiling a much-anticipated shopping update today (20 March), allowing UK businesses to sell products via posts.

Instagram Shopping is free and available to all UK businesses. It enables companies to tag products in organic posts that will link through to product pages on their websites.

The move fixes many businesses’ grips with the social platform, which until now did not allow direct links from organic posts to product pages or websites in general.

To enable the update, Instagram users must have a business profile, sell physical goods and have a product catalogue through Facebook or an integration partner.

As part of the new feature, a shopping bag icon will appear on Instagram posts that feature tagged products. When tapped, it will reveal product description and pricing.

These tags will click through to a product page with more detailed information, and a “Shop Now” button that links to the specific shopping page on the retailer’s own website.

Instagram trialled the update in the UK with three test partners – Marks & Spencer, swimwear brand Heidi Klein and slipper brand Mahabis.

Amy Cole, Instagram’s head of business development, told Drapers: “[Shopping] is hands down the most asked-for update and it is great to now be able to connect the dots from discovery all the way through to purchase and create a seamless experience.”

The UK launch follows Shopping’s introduction in the US last year. Instagram Shopping also launches in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain on 20 March.

Click here to read Instagram’s insider tips for launching your Shopping update.


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