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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Mansfield

What Instagram’s in-app shopping experience means

Twenty years ago, online shopping was a strange concept, with only a handful of companies and consumers dabbling in Internet transactions. Now, e-commerce is a booming, established business sector that has revolutionized shopping, with industry giants like Amazon leading the way.

So what’s next? According to Instagram, it’s mobile shopping.

Earlier this year, Instagram announced that it would be adding in-app check out, solidifying the social media platform’s place in e-commerce. With this new feature allowing users to view and purchase things without ever having to leave the app, Instagram is bound to see much more traffic and revenue coming from consumers buying through Instagram and vendors paying a fee for Instagram’s services. Before the feature was introduced, Instagram reported that over $130 million users browsed through their shopping tags each month, so we can only imagine the benefits that Instagram will reap once customers can start purchasing through the app as well.

That’s not all.

In addition to the convenience that Instagram’s new feature offers, the social media app also hopes to create a more personalized shopping experience through data collection and analysis. Much like companies such as Pinterest or Spotify use cookies and data tracking to collect information and create a tailored user experience, Instagram aims to use technology and data to give customers a unique, personal shopping experience, one where people can explore brands they love and discover new ones that fit their interests.

As usual, we want to ask -- what does this mean for marketers? With its use of technology to create personalized experiences catered towards individual users, Instagram’s move to expand mobile shopping is right up our alley. Not only does Instagram’s move to create a unique shopping experience allow smaller brands the opportunity to gain exposure and customers, Instagram’s knowledge of users’ interests and preferences may lead to greater conversion rates as consumers see more things they like.

Coupled with Instagram’s current practice of retargeting (which we've discussed previously), advertising and e-commerce through Instagram hold an enormous amount of promise for mobile shopping.

In general, the shift to data-driven business models emphasizing personalized digital experiences presents a lot of exciting opportunities for marketers, and that has us excited.

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