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Everything you need to know about Instagram’s latest feature

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Earlier this week, Instagram announced a new feature, which will enable high profile Instagrammers and influencers to make their posts shoppable, by tagging and selling their affiliated brands’ products directly on their grid. It’s a big move, so here’s everything you need to know…

The feature, which has been referred to as “Instagram Shopping” will be available from 9 May and follows the launch of the app’s Checkout feature, which was introduced solely for brand accounts in March this year.

Since its inception, Instagram has served as one of the most popular platforms for shopping inspiration, but physically making purchases based on what we see on our feeds has never been easy. The roll-out of this new feature is set to change that and is part of Instagram’s wider plans to cater to influencers’ requirements, whilst also considering the needs of its billion-plus users by enriching their experience.

So, what does it mean? Basically, from 9 May Instagram users will be able to buy everything that their favourite influencers recommend directly through their feed. Instagram will take a cut of every sale that is made through the platform and it’s predicted to generate millions in new revenue. Fair play, Instagram!

How does it work?
It’s pretty simply, really. Influencers will have the tools to tag specific products in their photos, and users will be able to tap the products and purchase them there and then, without having to leaving Instagram.

Once users tap the product in a photo, a prompt will appear, which will allow them to fill out their details and shipping information to complete the purchase. Once a purchase has been made, the app will save the payment method too, so future orders can be made without having to repeat those steps.

What does it mean for influencers?
As it stands, Instagram won’t allow influencers to receive a cut of the sales that result from their posts. The huge benefit for them, however, is that they will have access to a shared analytics dashboard with robust metrics and in-depth stats that the tagged brand will also be also able to see.

Previously, influencers have relied on screenshots and other fairly vague methods to communicate engagement numbers with the brands that they partner with, so tying their influence directly to sales was pretty impossible. These new accurate metrics will undoubtedly help influencers leverage better deals with brands and give them an opportunity to demonstrate the impact they have. Influencers will also appreciate the fact it’ll cut down the number of comments they receive asking what they are wearing, and where to buy it (which we’ve all done, let’s be honest)!

Now we’re not ones to gossip, but rumour has it the new feature has been beta tested with Instagram’s top influencers. We’re talking big names such as Kim Kardashian West, Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Nikita Dragun; in addition to a number of huge publications, including Vogue and GQ. So, safe to say it’s a pretty big deal.

You’ve probably heard, but influencer marketing continues to be a key trend and moves like this one from Instagram demonstrate the significant role that influencers play in consumer purchasing decisions. If you’re keen to build influencers into your social media strategy, give us a shout!

 
gareth slaughter