Instagram expanded its shoppable posts feature to eight more countries: the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Spain, per a blog post. That means brands in those countries can now add e-commerce links within their Instagram posts to help drive transactions from the image-sharing app, which has about 800 million users worldwide.
Facebook-owned Instagram introduced the service in the U.S. last year, letting marketers create an account that could drive transactions without having to hand over a portion of their sales to Facebook. More than 200 million Instagram users visit one or more business profiles daily, providing brands with a potentially broad audience worldwide, the company said.
The app's Shopping on Instagram is a self-service tool that lets marketers tag up to 5 products per image, or 20 products per carousel, in the same way that people can be tagged in a photo. Shopping posts give people quick access to pricing and product details within the Instagram feed and via the Shop tab on a business profile, the company said.
Instagram's shoppable posts feature has shown that it can help brands drive traffic from a social media platform that is especially popular among younger audiences who share selfies that show off new clothing or make-up. Brands can also use the platform to cultivate a following among fans and most likely buyers of their products.
Shopping on social media has started to take off in the past year as young consumers increasingly look to influencers for inspiration and as brands narrow in on the best way to sell merchandise on social, including by building excitement around limited-edition items and new releases. When Instagram announced the feature last year, the company said it wanted Instagram Shopping to be less transactional and more immersive, which meant providing more than just a "buy" button for shoppers to click. Kate Spade had tested the feature starting in November 2016 before the official rollout in the U.S. Pinterest, Snapchat and other platforms are also starting to ramp up shopping capabilities. With shopping on Instagram now available in more countries, the platform continues to be a leader in this space.
Fashion brand Lulus was an early adopter of the Shopping on Instagram platform, and has generated more than 1,200 direct orders and 100,000 visits from Instagram users. The brand has experimented with new ways to inspire followers to shop, including creating unique outfits in which every item is available for purchase and by showcasing user-generated content, Noelle Sadler, VP of marketing at Lulus, said on Instagram's blog. Beauty brand Tyme has also tagged its products on Instagram and saw traffic grow 44%.