Shopify has unveiled a “Shopping on Instagram” capability to select merchants leading up the holiday season. In this rollout, participants will be able to tag product posts within Instagram to showcase them to the social platform’s 800+ million monthly active users.
Retailers have sought to optimize social selling tactics for years now, and are still experimenting with different concepts, such as user-generated content and in-house “command centers” to boost sales. Buy buttons appeared to be losing favor among retailers early in 2017, but Instagram seems to be leveraging its visual advantage to entice shoppers to click and buy in a way other social platforms haven’t been able to yet.
Shopify merchants can connect their online store with their Facebook product catalog in Instagram. This lets them make all new Instagram posts shoppable by tagging them with any of their Shopify products, right from inside the Instagram app. When users see a post with a tag, they can tap it for more product details and to buy on the merchant’s checkout without ever leaving the app.
Select Shopify merchants already have been testing the Shopping on Instagram feature throughout 2017. Once the test phase is complete, it will be available to all Shopify merchants. Retailers seeking to ensure eligibility to use the feature when it is available should:
Install the Facebook catalogue through the Facebook channel on Shopify;
Set up an Instagram Business Account; and
Sell an eligible physical good.
The platform expansion adds yet another sales channel for Shopify sellers, who already can sell through Facebook, Messenger, Pinterest, Houzz and Buzzfeed.
Shopify plans to expand the feature for broader access to its 500,000+ merchants in the future, as further testing and development continues during the rollout.