Instagram is extending its shopping service to the UK today, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
This allows brands to sell their products directly from the social platform. Mobile sales have become a significant source of growth for fashion brands selling online , and this allows brands and retailers to link directly to up to five products per post, or 20 products per multi-image post, to their own websites . They can also add information such as price and product details.
Instagram shopping was launched in the US in October last year, and has been trialled in the UK with Marks & Spencer, Heidi Klein and slipper brand Mahabis.
To start with the service is only available on organic, and not on sponsored posts and is free to users with a business profile. Posts with virtual shoppable tags will be identifiable to users by the use of a shopping bag icon. Previously retailers had to rely on a link in their bio to click through directly to a product page, as Instagram didn’t allow direct links in tags or captions. The final transaction, however, still needs to take place on the brand’s website, as can’t be completed in Instagram directly.
Fashion retailers have been waiting a long time for this to happen, as Instagram is one of their primary platforms to engage with their target customers.
By Alison Lewy
Fashion Angel founder and author of Design Create Sell – a guide to starting and running a successful fashion business – available to buy here.