By Priya Patel-Chomel, product marketing lead, Facebook Middle East
How many times have you seen something on Instagram and been inspired to buy it? Whether it’s a pair of trainers from that sports brand you follow or a lipstick your favourite celebrity is showing off in a make-up tutorial.
Instagram has always been a place for shopping. From the platform’s earliest days, people used it to discover new products, brands and trends – and would use existing features like direct messaging to “hack” a shopping experience.
Given this behaviour was happening naturally – and that 80 per cent of people follow a brand on Instagram – we wanted to enable this habit of serendipitous shopping and bridge the path from inspiration to purchase.
That’s why we’ve been investing in new shopping features and are excited to bring the Shopping Tags feature to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Lebanon, giving consumers a simple way to purchase products from the brands they follow.
With Instagram Shopping Tags, brands can tag products in their photos, videos and Stories and link them directly to product pages on their website – while still within the app.
Since its global launch, 130 million people have tapped a product tag and visited a brand’s pages.
We’ve also introduced a shopping channel in the Explore tab, featuring posts with shopping tags. 200 million people visit Explore every day, making this channel like a virtual global shopping mall.
Because it’s a visual platform, Instagram Shopping features turn the app into an immersive store front, where brands can show off their products and capitalise on their social media reach.
The features aren’t just for big brands like Namshi, and can help smaller brands that don’t want to develop a standalone shopping app but are still eager to engage a mobile-first generation of shoppers.
As mobile outpaces desktop purchases, Instagram’s investment in shopping will help businesses of all sizes drive sales and customer loyalty. This is just the start. In the US, we’re piloting influencer shopping tags and a checkout experience.
We’re excited to learn from these tests and will continue to listen to feedback so we can create the world’s best shopping experience for our community of one billion people and 25 million businesses.