Instagram’s Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know

Instagram has made it very clear what its top priority is this holiday season: shopping.

The social network has been focused on building out its capabilities over the past few months, unveiling two new eCommerce-focused features in September and adding three more last week. These new features make it much easier for users to discover products and for brands to showcase their offerings via the app.

So, what exactly are these new shopping features? Here is a quick overview of each:

1. Save to a Shopping Collection
This adds a much-needed feature to Instagram: users who see products they like while browsing the social network can now save them to be revisited later.

The new functionality, which is similar to the wishlist function on other platforms, takes a slightly different approach by utilizing the preexisting collections feature.

The feature is pretty intuitive, product tags on the platform now include a save icon. When the icon is clicked it adds the item to a Shopping collection, which, like all other collections, can be accessed via the user profile.

Instagram's Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know2. Shop on Business Profiles
One challenge facing firms looking to sell via Instagram has been the difficulty of showcasing a wide range of offerings in one place.

The platform is addressing this by redesigning the “Shop” tab on its business profiles. The new experience, which is still being tested, will present all of the products featured in a brand’s shopping posts together, along with each item’s name and price.

To access the full list of products, users will simply need to click on the “Shop” button within a business profile.

Instagram's Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know

3. Shop Via Feed Videos
The addition of this third feature is no surprise, but it’s welcome nonetheless. Businesses can now add Product Tags to videos that appear in-feed, just as they’ve been able to do with photos for some time.

When users see a video from a brand they follow, they just need to tap the shopping icon in the bottom left corner and an overlay will appear with product information. Brands can include the item name, pricing, and a link to more information.

Instagram's Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know4. Shop Via Stories
Similar to enabling shopping via in-feed video, Instagram has turned on Product Tags for Stories.

The service began testing this feature in June and rolled it out officially worldwide this fall. To access a tag, a user simply clicks the screen within one of the Stories, a “See Details” overlay then appears and, if clicked, it leads to a detailed product page.

Instagram's Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know5. Shopping Channel in Explore
When Instagram added Topics to its Explore section in June the idea was to allow users to browse across their various interests. Curiously, shopping was not one of the topics available.

That’s been corrected. The Shopping channel, which was unveiled in September and has been rolled out globally over the past few months, allows users to easily discover shopping-related posts from brands they follow or that they might like.

The featured posts appear in a grid and include a prominent Shopping icon, making it simple to go from discovery to purchase.

Instagram's Newly Unveiled Shopping Features: What Brands Need to Know

For businesses looking to make the most of these powerful new features, it’s important to remember that a series of steps must be taken to enable an account to post Shopping content (check out the details here). Also, keep in mind that these offerings are rapidly evolving, with functionality constantly being added and removed, so keep an eye on the service’s Info Center for the latest updates.

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