Southeast Asia sees exhilarating rise in social commerce

Shopping tags allow users to browse and Southeast Asia sees exhilarating rise in social commerce. Source: Shutterstock

Retail revolution: Instagram pushes the right buttons for impulse shopping

AS if resisting the endless product advertisements on Instagram wasn’t already hard enough, the picture-sharing platform has introduced tools allowing users to buy products with a few taps of a finger.

Instagram has teamed up with e-commerce sites such as Shopify and Bigcommerce to bridge the gap between buyer and seller.

Previously, businesses wanting to use the advantages of Instagram’s visual appeal and vast audience to sell products were hampered by the inability to advertise links in image descriptions.

Many companies tried to work around this by providing consumers with exact instructions on how to find and purchase the product.

But with research reporting that 55 percent of Instagram users are millennials with incredibly short attention spans, it is likely that the purchase of the product was long forgotten among feeds of dancing dogs and ‘ultimate fail compilations’.

SEE ALSO: Three ways Instagram just made it easier to market yourself on stories 

According to Forbes: “Ultimately, marrying a smooth experience with a steady stream of fresh, engaging content is the yin-yang of an effective millennial marketing strategy.”

Instagram is now allowing businesses to take advantage of that same short attention span by making the process of buying products simple and timesaving.

With the introduction of shoppable posts, consumers have an even greater opportunity to connect with brands they love through the ability to instantly see the information they need, such as pricing and product descriptions, without ever having to leave the Instagram app.

According to Bigcommerce, up to five products and their prices can be tagged in a given photo.

Additionally, once the consumer has found a desired item to purchase, the shoppable posts automatically provide links to the corresponding product pages, allowing customers to be able to swiftly add products to cart and check out.

The customer experience expectations of many millennials centre on a smooth and seamless process at every stage. The simpler the process, the more likely the user is to repeat the process, establishing brand loyalty.

While the introduction of ‘shoppable tags’ may not be ideal for our bank balances, when it comes to the facts and figures, it is not hard to see the advantages of using Instagram as a product-selling platform.

Instagram in numbers

Number of monthly active Instagram users: 800 million

Number of daily active users: 500 million

Number of active business profiles: Five million

Percentage of people who say they discover new products on Instagram: 60

Percentage of users who follow a business on Instagram: 70

Percentage of users who take action after viewing a business post: 70

Source: Bigcommerce

 This tool is currently only available for US users.