Instagram stories is your new shopping channel

Every month, more than 90 million users now tap to reveal tags in shopping posts, per Instagram’s internal data.

This week, Instagram launches its Shopping in Stories feature to all users and partners around the world. In testing since June, the shopping tool in Stories is now available to everyone, and allows one product tag sticker per story, which lets users tap it to see more information like pricing.


                                                                                                                        Instagram product tag stickers


Expanding this function to business in 46 countries, will open up the floodgates of eCommerce success to new levels. Most small retail businesses selling product across varying industries, started out by using the power of Instagram’s main introductory functions:

  • The right filter
  • A selection of own-brand, and trending hashtags
  • Conversion to a business account which allows direct contact through calls and emails
  • Tagging partners and suppliers
  • Running sweepstakes and promotions
  • Using the private message option as a core customer service centre


                                                                             Durban, South Africa based biz, Chilli Chocolate Chefs IG Account


                                                        South African social influencer Aisha Baker has grown her business through IG


With the global rollout of Shopping in Stories, the unlimited potential for eCommerce-first business models will skyrocket through the stratosphere more than the overwhelming numbers currently. Stories has proven to be one of Instagram’s most popular services. At present, more than 400 million users check out at least one Story on a daily basis.

Instagram’s exploration concept has driven eCommerce ease across the board for both users and businesses. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg presented the company’s most recent earnings call, which showed that 2 million of the 25 million businesses on the network, are advertisers.


Explore Page

“If you want to shop on Instagram, it’s a lot of work,” says Vishal Shah, product management director at Instagram. “You have to scroll through Feeds, hop from profile to profile.”

In moving with the rollout of new eComm features, Instagram will also introduce a Shopping Tab to its Explore Page, giving brands even more opportunities. Consumers can tap on the Channel which appears at the top of the Explore page. The page will show you products from brands you love and follow, including ones the Algorithm senses you have a preference for.



                                                               eCommerce leader Shopify excited about Instagram shopping features

eCommerce platform giant Shopify are elated. “Usage of Stories presents a brand new opportunity for merchants to get their products and brands in front of fans in addition to the regular feed,” said Satish Kanwar, vp of product at Shopify.

Kanwar encapsulates the modern user shopping journey in this mobile-first world…

“The ability to buy across multiple channels provides consumers today with full control over their individual commerce experience.”

Instagram can certainly celebrate the mobile journey shopping experience, especially on the back of latest results from Salesforce’s Shopping Holiday Season’s Predictions which show increased growth for Mobile and Instagram, including predictions that Instagram referral traffic to retail sites will climb 51 percent year over year this holiday season.


And with Shopping in Stories and a dedicated channel on Explore for retail to keep customers engaged for now, the crown jewel seems to be in the making according to latest reports. On a story that appeared on The Verge, it seems likely that a standalone app with a possible name, IG Shopping, will be the next frontier for the social platform leader.

According to source, IG Shopping will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app. Instagram declined to comment.

Shopping is certainly not the first IG feature to be introduced into a standalone app. Like its parent Facebook with Messenger, the company has been testing a new messaging app called Direct since last December. And vertically shot videos have been given their own home under IGTV, released earlier this year.

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