Jun 07, 2021

Instagram, Pinterest Add More Shopping Features

  • by Admin

Even as the country opens up to in-person shopping and events, tech companies are betting on the continued growth of social commerce - with brands like Instagram and Pinterest adding new features to make shopping within their apps easier. Social commerce sales in the U.S. are expected to grow by 34.8% - to $36 billion - this year, up from $26.7 billion in 2020 and $19.2 billion in 2019, according to a report by eMarketer . Though it currently represents just 4.3% of all online shopping, that impressive annual growth underlines just how quickly social media is eating into the e-commerce pie. Late last month, Instagram launched a new feature called Drops, which helps sellers create buzz for what are often limited-edition product launches. Accessible from the top of the Shop tab in the mobile version of Instagram, Drops lets consumers discover, browse and shop current and upcoming product launches. They can also sign up to receive reminders about products they're interested in, according to TechCrunch . Shoppers can make purchases directly in the app via Checkout on Instagram, rather than visiting a third-party website. Eventually, notes TechCrunch, this shopping model will allow Instagram to collect fees on purchases. Another feature Instagram recently added is the ability for influencers to tag up to two brands in a sponsored content post and ask for brand approval to have their post officially designated as branded content. Brands themselves will be able to see the tags and decide whether to approve. The posts can be published without approval, but the "Paid Partnership" tag and brand name won't appear until it's approved by the brand, according to Glossy . Brands will also be able to see data and insights from every sponsored Reels and Live post they're tagged in. Pinterest created a Shopping List feature to help users organize products and encourage purchases. Pinterest is also adding a feature to enhance e-commerce. The app already offered things like shoppable pins, visual search and product recommendations. But on June 7, it announced the launch of Shopping Lists, which saves users' product pins in one place so that when they're ready to purchase an item, they don't have to hunt through saved pins to find it. Pinterest says it will also send users notifications when saved items have dropped in price. "People have always come to Pinterest to shop - they use Pinterest to discover new ideas and actively consider what to do or buy to bring those ideas to life," said Dan Lurie, global head of shopping products at Pinterest in a press release. "We want to help users find products just right for them and feel confident that they've made a solid choice from reputable merchants with a seamless shopping experience." In conjunction with the release of its Shopping Lists, Pinterest launched a two-week-long shopping event called "The Goods by Pinterest," with limited-edition items from an array of brands. TikTok, known for its short-form videos and popularity with Gen Z, is also testing the social commerce waters. Last Christmas, it partnered with Walmart on a live shopping event . It also recently started piloting a shopping program in the U.K. and parts of Southeast Asia, with a focus on streetwear brands, according to WWD .

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