Instagram’s latest shopping feature demonstrates the growing power that brands have to transform ‘likes’ into sales.

Instagram shopping 2019

Online shopping through Instagram has just become simpler. Now, with the rollout of its latest ‘Checkout with Instagram’ feature, users can make in-app purchases without being re-directed to a brand’s website, demonstrating the growing power that brands now have to convert social media “likes” into sales.

The offer of a seamless shopping experience holds potential for Instagram to capitalise on social media as an emerging online channel. Its emergence is being catalysed by its convenience factor as well as the inspiration it provides to users – particularly for fashion and beauty purchases. It also presents a significant opportunity for brands to capture impulse spending from shoppers, some of whom are adopting a ‘see now, buy now’ mentality.

In fact, 40% of global millennials claim to regularly use social media sites or apps to purchase products, while 49% of global millennials use it to discover new products and brands, according to GlobalData’s 2017 Q4 primary consumer research.

Instagram’s latest feature can thus be leveraged by brands to bridge the gap between these two behaviours – discovering and purchasing products online – by emphasising the efficiency of a frictionless shopping experience.

Additionally, considering that millennials are a generation already perceived as spending a significant portion of their time browsing social media, this offers a potential avenue for brands to engage with such consumers to expand their reach and boost sales.

Furthermore, the fact that shopping on social media is most concentrated among young adults highlights that this behaviour is becoming more pronounced over time, pointing toward the likelihood for social media commerce to increase in importance in future.

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