Instagram has cemented itself as a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand with the launch of Shopping in the UK, an update on the social media platform consumers to seamlessly purchase products directly from businesses.
The development marks the Facebook-owned firm’s most significant push into ecommerce since the introduction of Instagram for Business tools in 2016 and since introduced a shoppable advert system dubbed “collection” campaigns earlier this year.
Instagram said its new Shopping function provides people with a visual storefront to explore new products from the brands they love.
With easy access to pricing and product details, shoppers can tap on a tagged post within their feed to buy a specific product directly from the brand’s website, without having to search for it.
High street giant Marks & Spencer was one of the first three businesses to take part in the UK test phase of the Shopping function.
“Instagram Shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers,” M&S head of digital marketing Erin Roy said.
“Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers.
“Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level. They are simple to create, easy for our customers to use and enhance the Instagram experience.”
The UK launch of Shopping also follows a successful introduction in the US last year.
“People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses,” Instagram head of business Jim Squires said.
“We want that to be a seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”