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Instagram Cranks Up E-Commerce Offering to Compete with Amazon

Instagram is allowing influencers to sell items to users directly through their posts on the feed.

Instagram has announced that it will let influencers use the app to tag and sell products directly on the grid, which it hopes will improve the user’s shopping experience on the platform. Now, users will be able to purchase items that their favourite creators post directly through their feed.

The social platform is currently testing the new tool with 55 celebrity influencers including Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and 23 brands such as Michael Kors and Nars. New accounts and brand partners will be added in the coming months.

Last year, Instagram allowed brands to make shoppable posts, directing links from organic posts to product pages and websites. Then, it rolled out shopping via Stories with the swipe-up feature. Only last month, Instagram launched its Checkout tool, which lets customers buy products without leaving the app.

A direct competitor of Amazon?

Instagram will take a cut from every sale made through the platform as it continues to turn the platform into an e-commerce powerhouse. Analytics at Deutsche Bank predicts that it could reach to become a $10 billion business.

“Instagram could really become a direct competitor to Amazon as they scale these new features across the platform. Brands also need to rethink their influencer strategies, and influencers will be thinking about how to appropriately monetise this feature and their content in a way that benefits their audience,” said Adam Williams, CEO of Takumi.

“Instagram must be part of an integrated retail strategy. It will be an incredible opportunity to get brands to start fully investing in Instagram – this creates a proper path to purchase with very measurable ROI.

“Checkout acts like Instagram’s version of a wallet, allowing purchasing within the Instagram ecosystem rather than being redirected to a brands’ website. It creates an environment that cements the future importance of influencer content. They also provide a far more cost-effective way for brands to reach consumers – with far more engaging content, particularly video,” continued Williams. 

What about influencers?

Many influencers believe it will save them time as many followers constantly ask where their clothes, for example, are from. Although influencers won’t receive a cut of the sales their posts generate, they will be able to access an analytics dashboard with metrics that the tagged brand can also see.

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