Why a shopping platform from Instagram could be a big deal
Recently there was some news about Instagram working on a stand-alone app for shopping. This could mean some very exciting things for the right brands looking to take advantage of the social platform’s huge audience. On average Instagram users spend 32 minutes a day on the platform. While this may not mean much to some, for the right retailers this is just a new avenue for potential revenue.
Why this could be a big deal
As the app is still in development its important to keep in mind that the product may never launch, however, according to The Verge — it’s probably going to be completed.
IG Shopping would allow brands to sell where customers spend most of their time — on their phones. It is no secret getting users to purchase from their phones outside of apps like Amazon and eBay is a challenge. Due to Instagram’s extreme popularity, this shouldn’t be too difficult for the social giant. Not to mention that the platform already allows select accounts to sell directly from their Instagram posts.
Instagram’s selling power has gone from word of mouth to influencers. Influencers stand to gain a lot from a dedicated shopping app. They currently make up a large majority of the advertising on the platform, and arming them with the ability to push product directly from their accounts means they could have even more selling power. If you’re already heavily invested in influencer marketing, these may be exciting times for you.
Why you should care about selling your products via Instagram
Like most brands, you are most likely already on Instagram. So imagine being able to link to your “IG Shopping Store” via CTA button on each post.
Imagine then being able to literally be in the hands of your customers — on the platform that they are already devoting large amounts of daily use to. In a market where breaking through the static is difficult, this new platform could bring rise to a new generation of digital retail opportunities.
Lastly, huge marketing budgets are spent in attempts to bring customers to their online or physical stores, and an app like IG Shopping could allow for smaller brands with smaller budgets to compete by providing brands with loyal communities a greater selling opportunity. No longer will brands have to spend large amounts of money on advertising to get users to visit their website or retail store in hopes they make a purchase. Now your brand can simply do what it already does–sell the lifestyle associated with your product line.
IG Shopping is positioned to rival platforms like Shopify
Shopify is the go-to shopping cart platform for small to medium-sized brands looking to sell online. They do an amazing job of providing the bare bones of e-commerce to those just getting started selling online. They also have an app store that allows for deep customization of your store, throw in Shopify’s reliable payments and low entry cost it is no wonder why so many small to medium brands stay with the platform.
However, IG Shopping could provide even lower entries to selling online. Depending on how open IG Shopping makes itself available initially, it could require very little for anyone looking to sell online.
Instagram’s competitive advantage
The biggest reason why you should be excited about Instagram/Facebook building a stand-alone shopping platform is they employ one of the best product teams on the planet. They know how to build addictive and enjoyable user experiences.
They have the money, talent, and research know-how to build a platform that is perfect for mobile devices. It is truly exciting to see what a new player in the e-commerce space may bring, especially for mobile devices.
Keep your eyes out and your mind open for the possibilities the social giant will bring to the e-commerce space and don’t be surprised when they surpass all our expectations and doubts.
This article was originally published on Medium.