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Cole Haan laces up Apple Pay, tying in shoppable Instagram content

Cole Haan is one of the premier lifestyle brands tapping a new in-application feature that enables users to browse Instagram content and purchase items directly within the app via Apple Pay, underscoring the need for shoppable social newsfeeds.

The brand has joined forces with mobile commerce technology platform PredictSpring to roll out the feature, which seeks to make more headway on driving adoptions of buy buttons on social media. If marketers are able to include shoppable Instagram posts within their mobile apps, they may experience a significant uptick in purchases of the artfully-curated products showcased on their feeds.

“The experience on consumer apps will be similar to the experience inside the Cole Haan app when using the Shop the Look feature with Instagram,” said Nitin Mangtani, founder/CEO of PredictSpring, Los Altos, CA. “Consumers will be able to browse digital content and see the products highlighted in the ‘Look.’

“Consumers will then be able to select the appropriate color and size and purchase the product with one click via Apple Pay,” he said. “It is a seamless experience from aspiration to purchase.

“Think Instagram meets Uber.”

Gateway to commerce
Many consumers become inspired to purchase or research items after seeing a brand’s Instagram posts, as often times, they are created with an aesthetically-pleasing angle or unique take. It is a smart move for brands to capitalize on this sentiment by ensuring that they showcase photos from their social media newsfeeds within their apps, and make that content shoppable.

Cole Haan is one of the first brands to leverage PredictSpring’s “Shop the Look” tool, which is integrated with payment platform Apple Pay.

Fans of the brand, perhaps best known for its footwear, may download the Cole Haan app designed by PredictSpring to access a host of branded material, including gift guides and aggregated social posts.

Consumers log in via their Instagram or Facebook accounts, and browse the collection of featured Instagram posts. If a user spots an interesting product, he or she taps on the image to receive more information, view the price and add it to the in-app shopping cart.

Customers may then check out using Apple Pay, which offers a one-step, streamlined payment process. If their credit card information has already been loaded into the platform, Cole Haan fans can purchase items in just a few moments.

This tactic is ideal for driving impulse purchases, especially around the holidays when individuals are looking for gift ideas for family and friends on numerous digital channels.

Proliferation of buy buttons
The growing amount of buy buttons on retailers’ social media newsfeeds may be able to prevent drop-off rates and fuel mobile conversions among customers.

Shopping cart abandonment is a critical issue for many marketers, particularly those with complicated checkout processes.

Integrating Apple Pay or other mobile-optimized payment solutions with buy buttons could be the strategy to combat this once and for all. Many experts believe that buy buttons will continue proliferating the market and encouraging impulse buys among social media-savvy consumers.

However, a Forrester research analyst recently claimed that while there is significant interest this year in buy buttons on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Google and Twitter, limited availability and poor execution are among the factors likely to hamper their potential to impact sales (see story).

Nevertheless, making social media content shoppable is an attractive feature for most customers, especially users who are readily inspired by the creative posts at which lifestyle brands excel.

“We are just getting started with buy buttons on social media,” Mr. Mangtani said. “For the past 15 years, brands and retailers have focused on ad formats to promote products, but these strategies were designed for desktop and have largely failed on mobile.

“We have arrived at a time when every form of mobile content will be shoppable – whether via a retailer’s own app, third-party social media platform, or digital magazine,” he said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York