Instagram Moves Into Retail With Tagged Photos

By Shan Li
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The retail industry is slowly expanding on social Media platforms where it is becoming easier than ever before to find and purchase that perfect product.

Los Angeles Times

Instagram is making it easier for retailers to promote and sell products through photos.

The photo-sharing service is giving 20 retailers the ability to add tags to pictures to add information such as prices and available colors.

Social media platforms are scrambling to squeeze more revenue out of their big user bases. Last year, Instagram and Pinterest added the ability to buy products displayed in photos (Instagram called it a “Shop Now” button; Pinterest named it a buyable pin).

Facebook-owned Instagram said in a Tuesday blog post that offering more context on products will make it easier for shoppers when they are considering a purchase.

“Most mobile shopping experiences today take people from the shop window right to checkout, without giving consumers the opportunity to consider a product and get more information,” the blog post said.

Instagram said internal research showed that only 21 percent of consumers buy a product the first day they see it online. Most tend to spend a day or longer before buying.

The retailers included in this test can seed their photos with more information, available through a “tap to view” icon. When tapped, tags will pop up on one or more products in the photo, along with prices. Users can tap on a tag to get more details, and then click on the “Shop Now” button to buy it.

Ryan McIntyre, chief marketing officer of e-commerce merchant JackThreads, said the new capabilities will allow the company “to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.”

“This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile,” he wrote in the blog post.

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