A lot more retailers may soon be selling on Instagram.
E-commerce platform providers BigCommerce and Shopify today announced that retailers that use its platform now can tag products in Instagram posts. 25 retailers in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 use BigCommerce’s e-commerce platform and 23 use Shopify, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.
The move is the latest step by the social network to expand the e-commerce features on its platform. Instagram has been testing e-retail features with 20 U.S.-based retail brands including Kate Spade (No. 124 in the Top 500), JackThreads (No.250) and Warby Parker (No. 189), last November.
The tagging feature enables retailers to make contextual information, such as pricing and product descriptions, accessible to shoppers using Instagram’s iOS and Android apps with a single click. When a shopper is ready to make a purchase, the post can direct her to the associated product page on the merchant’s website.
Nearly all of the roughly 40 brands that have tested the feature have found the tool is helping drive traffic and sales, says Jimmy Duvall, BigCommerce’s chief product officer. For instance, women’s intimate apparel retailer The Natori Co., which works with BigCommerce, says that within a “few short weeks” of launching the shopping features, its revenue from the channel jumped 100% and its Instagram referral traffic rose 1,416%. “Instagram has played a major role in helping us build a brand,” says president Ken Natori.
Retailers using shoppable posts can access analytics data to understand how many Instagram users tapped to view product details or clicked Shop Now to visit a merchant’s website.
Helping retailers drive sales on Instagram is part of a push by BigCommerc to give merchants the ability to sell on channels beyond their e-commerce site, Duvall says. “We’re trying to enable retailers to use our e-commerce platform where consumers already are,” he says, pointing to data such as a December 2016 Internet Retailer survey of 515 U.S. adult online shoppers that found that 52.5% of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon. “There’s a large portion of consumer buying behavior that’s no longer driven by search.” Shopify is making similar moves by offering integrations with a number of online marketplaces, such as Pinterest and Houzz.
Shopping on Instagram is currently available to U.S.-based BigCommerce and Shopify merchants that have set up their accounts to sell on Facebook that are selling in U.S. dollars.