Instagram has recently introduced a new shop feature, Shops on Instagram, in order to support businesses with their shift to e-commerce during the COVID-19 crisis. Shops on Instagram, currently in alpha stage, brings users an immersive experience and a full-screen storefront, that enables businesses to build their brand story and drive product discovery across the platform.

In this article, we explore what Shops on Instagram does, and what are the benefits for businesses, as well as for Instagram users. 

What is Shops on Instagram?

With Shops on Instagram customers can visit a brand’s shop from the Instagram profile or through Feed and Stories. Once in a shop, customers can browse products, explore collections and even purchase products. All this happens seamlessly through Instagram’s in-app browser, or from a web browser where checkout on Instagram is enabled. Keep in mind that this is an upgrade to the current shop experience that exists on Instagram.

With shops, Instagram wants to give customers a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying. Businesses can customize the shopping experience through collections, and curate products into themes that tell the brand story.

What are the benefits?

This native shopping experience provides users a personalized, streamlined experience with the ease of browsability, and safety to explore products without having to worry about security risks. For businesses, Shops on Instagram is an easy way to improve the digital storefront, and get their brand and products found by customers.

The real benefit will be long-term when customers can shop and checkout on the platform. Essentially, it will shorten the length of time from product introduction to sale and that way improve the buyer journey. By removing a click from a platform like Instagram or Facebook to your website, you will also remove possible issues with load time, site speed, website user experience (UX) hiccups, and bugs on the checkout – all of which can have a negative impact to the buyer journey. Especially small businesses that don’t have website development teams, often struggle with creating seamless UX experiences. For them in particular, an in-app shop feature will be a game changer. 

What better way for a small business to migrate online and adopt a storefront on a platform like Instagram that already has millions of users engaging and consuming both content and brand experiences.

“What better way for a small business to migrate online and adopt a storefront on a platform like Instagram that already has millions of users engaging and consuming both content and brand experiences.”

At Mason Interactive, we are most excited about the potential to turn this into new ad units and objectives for optimization related to these new shop experiences. Once Shops on Instagram develops, we hope to use shops as a new objective to optimize and focus our investment towards those users that are more inclined to interact with and shop within these experiences.

Who is eligible?

Facebook has begun a phased roll out of shops to all businesses globally. For now, Shops on Instagram is available only for the brands that have been hand-selected by Facebook’s product team to participate in the alpha, but it is expected to be expanded to all businesses over the next few months. 

At Mason Interactive, we are continuously monitoring the latest updates and performance of our clients who are already opted in to the alpha stage. Talk to our e-commerce experts today to learn more about Facebook and Instagram shop features and the best ways to drive online sales. 

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