Pinterest expanded the availability of Shopping Ads from a "couple dozen" retailers to "hundreds" of businesses, and Instagram Shopping is now available to retailers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

Pinterest Inc. and Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram both want to make it easier for retailers to market to shoppers on their platforms.

Pinterest

Pinterest on Monday expanded the availability of Shopping Ads from a “couple dozen” retailers to “hundreds” of businesses, writes Shounak Simlai, Pinterest’s product marketing lead, in a blog post. Shopping Ads enable a retailer to use a product feed that’s formatted to the same specifications as a Google Product Feed to create product pins on Pinterest.

The format has helped retailers such as Lowe’s Cos. Inc. drive strong returns. For instance, a Lowe’s campaign last year generated a return on ad spend 76% greater than its goal. And, compared to averages from the same period a year earlier, the Shopping ads delivered a 20% higher click-through rate and a 43% lower cost per click.

Those results stem from the ways that consumers use Pinterest. For instance, a recent Pinterest study found that 90% of Pinterest users make purchase decisions on the platform and 70% use the social network to find new products.

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Pinterest says it’s also testing new ad designs for its Shopping Ads. For example, it aims to see if presenting multiple angles of a product drives stronger returns. Another test mixes product shots and lifestyle imagery to enable merchants to show shoppers how a product could fit into their lives.

Pinterest Shopping ad test

Pinterest also is expanding “Shop the Look” to France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Shop the Look  is a tool that enables Pinterest users to identify, shop and buy products within fashion and home pins, as well as two other visual search tools.

Instagram

Instagram on Tuesday expanded Instagram Shopping to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Each post that a retailer makes using the shopping feature has a “tap to view” icon in the photo’s bottom-left corner. When tapped, a tag will appear on various products in the post—showcasing up to five products and their prices. When a user selects a tag, it will open a new, detailed view of the product. If the consumer taps the “Shop Now” link from the product details view, she’ll go directly to that product on the merchant’s website.

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The feature enables a retailers to share more detailed posts that make it easier for Instagram users to review, learn about and consider items that interest them.

The tool is a “clean and simple way to show your product in a lifestyle setting, without impacting the user experience,” says Savannah Boysen, marketing manager at beauty products retailer Tyme LLC, in a blog post. The post notes that traffic from Instagram to TymeStyle.com rose 44% after it began using the tool.

 “It’s no surprise to see Instagram expand its Shopping service in the U.K.,” says Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Salmon. “It is simply a reaction to consumers’ ever-changing shopping traits, which continue to shift to mobile and online. And for brands it’s an opportunity to secure a larger slice of the competitive retail market. Mobile sales are now a significant source of growth and this will enable retailers to provide tailored deals directly to the shopper. It will also naturally influence the market during retail peaks, as consumers use social media to search for the latest trends and products.”
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