Instagram and Pinterest – Are These The New Social Commerce Sites?

28 Feb Instagram and Pinterest – Are These The New Social Commerce Sites?

Like the majority of social media sites, Instagram has also undergone some updates to keep up to date with the ecommerce push.
Recently, this image based social site has launched a new shoppable advert system, with the adverts blending into product catalogs and even videos, where the user is able to buy directly from the range without having to even leave the Instagram app.
As we are living in an age where speed is the key, this cuts out a potentially unnecessary step which could be the difference between a sale and abandoned cart.
This new update was launched in the hope to make some money out of the millions of users who follow the site’s huge range of brands. Previously, Instagram allowed users to click on a brand’s posts and be taken through to their website to make a purchase. This is the first time, however, that you can purchase directly on the platform.
At first the update was only available to certain companies. The sheer size of the app’s user base makes it a very attractive platform from which to sell products, so it wasn’t long before many other companies were eager to reap the benefits from this new selling platform.
Now that the option is available to thousands of other online merchants, it is easy to see how successful this form of social commerce has been in the past year.
Currently only physical products can be sold, such as clothing, food, toys, art and electronics, and only 5 products can be ‘tagged’ per post. The tags are on the items that are for sale, and it is these that the users click on in order to be taken through the purchasing process.
Users will know if a post is shoppable thanks to the small shopping bag icon that appears in the bottom corner of a post. They can then tap the image to view the product details, such as what the product is, what it is called and how much it is selling for.
These will appear as a small pop-up directly on the image. It is when this information is clicked that Instagram opens a new page directly in the app, and you can find out more information and view a larger image of the product.
Instagram is far from the only social media site that is dabbling in the ecommerce world. Pinterest is also growing as an ecommerce tool for many businesses. There are several ways in which retails can use this platform to drive sales.
Firstly, it can be used as a great way to push traffic to the company’s site by providing valuable posts. If people like what they see, they will be more inclined to find out more about the company.
Recently Pinterest has also launched ‘buyable pins’. These pins allow the user to make a purchase directly on Pinterest, without leaving the platform. Today, there are over 60 million buyable pins already on the site, a number that is expected to grow with time.
A buyable pin in infused with richer data than the normal ones, and includes features like the items’ price. A user can tap the buy button and then select the specific product type that she likes, and then go ahead and complete the purchase.
Several big name brands are coming on board with this idea, such as Wayfair and Bloomingdales. Now that there are some huge companies making use of this feature, it shouldn’t be long until many smaller retailers start to jump on board.