Better late than never: Instagram has released even a month ago a new shopping feature that allows users to browse their timeline and find product tags inside the pictures. A couple of taps and you know price, product header and land immediately in a purchase platform, with a (almost) seamless experience of social e-commerce.
It’s a good move from Facebook, considered the terrible moment it’s living after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other major critics related to the dark and dangerous social engineering campaigns that have driven or maneuvered political and social communication streams in many countries. The Economist itself ironically reminded that many tech enthusiasts still call the Menlo Park company “big tobacco” evoking fatal destinies of a twentieth century industry…
Below in the charts we see some interesting figures (sources: Instagram, Techcrunch, SocialMedia Examiner) first of all: Instagram users exceeded one billion last June, and the social network owned by Facebook experienced a very large increase in active business accounts: 25 million in 2017, almost doubling the figure of the previous year. A trend that places Instagram second in the ranking of social media most used by corporate marketing specialists (66% of the survey, immediately after Facebook).
In the marketing manager toolkit there is no longer just the Instagram tool as a vehicle of awareness for its potential customer base, and a tool to land display and social marketing campaigns aimed at promoting specific collections or products. Not just the possibility to hire top influenced for sponsored posts, or to develop networks of micro and nano influencers with less oceanic sequences, but with a more reactive and involved audience. Now we can finally bring the public to a seamless experience in the store social accounts on Instagram.
It’s something we’ve already seen in key foreign markets, China in particular, that’s not new to further more inclusive social selling environments. Think of the mini-program or e-commerce features of WeChat, the largest Chinese social network, which allows you to convey highly profiled content with high experiential value and bring your social audience directly to the purchase in a few simple clicks without leaving the environment company. Or split the bill of a pizza with your friends paying with your smartphone, and much much more.
The added value is important both in terms of engagement and conversion of traffic in commercial results, but also to build a further valuable layer of user profiling: I will finally know who follows who (or what) but also understand the user behavior until the steps that are closer to the purchase process. A key feature in the big data era where profiling customers or potential customer base might set the competitive gap standard with your competitors.
[header photo by rawpixel on Unsplash]