Instagram has unveiled two updates to its retail offer: expanding the Shopping function into Stories and introducing Shopping to the Explore tab.
Gord Ray, product marketing lead at Instagram, told Drapers: “We now have 90 million people tapping on a shopping icon globally. [We rolled it out] in March, and we are seeing such positive take-up of shopping from our community.
“We want it to be a seamless experience for everyone,” he added.
He said that more than 80% of Instagram’s one billion users follow a business account.
Instagram Stories lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. The social media platform started testing shopping in its Stories feature in June, and it is rolling it out globally from today. More than 400 million accounts watch Stories each day and one-third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, Ray said.
It has worked with around 40 brands and retailers to test the functionality from June, including Marks & Spencer, Silk Fred and Charlotte Tilbury in the UK. It could not disclose figures of any UK retailers but said US kidswear retailer Spearmint Love reported a 25% increase in traffic and an 8% increase in revenue as a result of the beta testing from using Shopping in its Instagram Stories.
Instagram is also launching a Shopping channel on its Explore page, which shows users photos and videos based on things such as the people they follow or the posts they like.
Users will see a channel dedicated to Shopping posts from brands they follow or brands they may like.
Ray said that Instagram had created the latest updates following requests from its community – both individuals and businesses. However he told Drapers the business has no plans to launch a transactional app.