Picture-based social media app Instagram has introduced a new feature that is poised to impact the UK’s e-commerce industry.
The Facebook-owned company has announced it is introducing a shopping tool across the UK to enable businesses to sell direct to consumers without leaving the application.
The announcement comes after the tool was rolled out across North America last year.
High street giant Marks & Spencer was one of the first three businesses to take part in the UK test phase of the Shopping function.
“People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses,” Instagram head of business Jim Squires said, according to Retail Gazette.
“We want that to be a seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”
While having an e-store is of course valuable to any business, for small independent brands and retailers which do not have the infrastructure to keep up with e-commerce demands, it may be best to focus on the picture-based social media platform instead.
During a roundtable with digital-savvy individuals from the UK jewellery industry, founder of Lily Flo Jewellery, Diana Sherling, shared how valuable Instagram has been for the growth of her business.
“Instagram has actually helped me make my business, because I can curate how my business evolves faster on Instagram. So I want to be very fashion-led, and that helps me evolve more than my website. I can also test things on Instagram and see if they are resonating.”
“For me, Instagram has been the most incredible learning journey out of everything,” Sherling said of her digital jewellery journey so far. “Not only from the content that I am curating and putting on there, but also the networking, which is possible partly through hashtags and partly through the imagery. My bloggers and influencers have come to me from seeing my images on Instagram, and I have had a lot of new stockists see me through honing out hashtags, so that hashtag has a journey that then massively helps define my brand.”