Instagram Can Become The Next Favorite Destination of Shopaholics - But The Start Is Slow

Have you got the chance to discover the “Shop” section in your Instagram search yet? Yes, the same option which leads you to a collection of best clothes and other products from different brands around the world.

Although you might be thinking of it as another cool engagement trick by Instagram - which honestly speaking seems to be going well - this feature alone in the future is going to make big money for the Facebook-owned media-sharing app and the process has only just started.

Cowen is a financial services firm that is making some big predictions about the potential of shopping on Instagram and according to its most recent research, as cited by BusinessInsider, only 12% of Facebook users use Instagram for selecting and buying their favorite products. Moreover, not so surprisingly, the number is also way less than compared to the more established rival like Pinterest, which enjoys 45% of the users from Facebook.

This data eventually portrays one big challenge for Facebook; how to make their way into the e-commerce market on a bigger scale, especially with the additional advantage of being the dominating advertisers as well.

Hence to make it all work well, Instagram keeps on adding subtle new features in the shop section with the aim to make the shopping experience better for users all the time. As a result, we have seen tags used to highlight product costs, links of the item attached to the post (if one wants to buy the item immediately) and there is also a new integrated checkout feature as well if someone doesn’t want to leave the app for buying something.

Overall, Instagram is also becoming a great hub for new brands to advertise their products with traditional advertising tools and reach out to their desired audience with a few simple digital marketing techniques.

However, despite all the attempts till now, only 1 in 10 Instagram users, as per Cowen, have tried to find or shop products from the platform. The digits seem to be extremely underwhelming even if we make the calculations based on 2,500 U.S. participants that took part in the survey conducted in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Fortunately enough, there was one positive to come out from the report that nearly half of 45% Pinterest users vowed for the role social media can play in adding more convenience to shopping online for users - especially in case of helping them find products. Now it’s still up to Zuckerberg & the executives who share the responsibility of making the shopping section on Instagram a hit, that whether they take the only stat in their favor as an encouraging sign and strive to grab more users.

On the other hand, analysts are also very much optimistic about Facebook’s attempt at e-commerce as Deutsche Bank in 2019 estimated that by 2021, Instagram will get to enjoy an extra $10 billion revenue which would possibly come only from more people shopping on Instagram.

Prior to that in 2019, the Deutsche Bank had also conducted a survey in which the results showed that 43% of the respondents were likely (18%) or somewhat likely (25%) to shop on Instagram using the new checkout feature. This again indicated an overall increasing interest of users to shop via Instagram.

In the end, it all comes down to Facebook’s plans to promote shopping on Instagram on a larger scale. But only if they do it right, we bet the results would be fast and surprising!

Use Cases by Social Media Platform - infographic

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