Fashion Life

Instagram to become a digital mall

Instagram’s new online shopping feature makes a great step forwards allowing users to purchase items on Instagram.

Online shopping has recently become really popular. In 2018, 47.3% of the total internet population also shopped online — a portion that has been rising year on year. Although Amazon has the lion’s share of e-commerce, there are countless platforms that allow people to purchase their favourite items online.

Now, Instagram is joining the field, making a giant step forward by letting users buy items associated with Instagram posts. This sharing platform has become an “online shopping sector.” Instagram launched the online shopping feature in June 2018, allowing users to shop while streaming Instagram Stories, whenever a shopping bag icon appears. Users tap on the icon to see more details about the product, such as pricing and name.

Instagram has also announced the Shopping channel in the Explore section of the app, personalizing the offerings for users “from the brands you follow and brands might like.” In May 2019, a new account called @shop, was created by Instagram. The content of this account will be about fashion, beauty, home decor and more.

This new feature makes it easy for people to purchase items without navigating to the brand’s website to purchase which can lead to users getting lost during the checkout process. Ashley Yuki, the product manager on the new feature, says: “Instead of having to go through this clunky mobile web flow and checking out, you can now check out directly on Instagram” There are currently around 20 big retail partners that are participating in the feature, including Nike, Burberry, and Uniqlo.

Whether or not Instagram is able to keep their shoppers remains to be seen. Some 90% of onlines shoppers will compare prices found on brand websites with those found on Amazon, citing better prices, better product comparisons, and a better interface.

On the other hand, some of the sellers have been using Amazon to sell counterfeit and pirated items. Instagram will try to reduce the risk of getting counterfeit goods by identifying verified brands with a blue badge.

Online shopping on Instagram would be perfect for customers who would like to look for items with fascinating fashion pages or who are in pursuit of convenience without leaving Instagram to purchase products and payments. It seems a perfect match for Instagram, but whether or not users will simply head over to Amazon to compare prices remains to be seen.

Image credit: Nexelt Digital

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