Instagram expands shopping across platform

Users can now make purchases with a few taps from IGTV, Stories and Live, with Reels coming sometime in the future.

Shopping has become a large part of the Instagram experience and will soon be available across of its services. This week, the Facebook-owned platform has added IGTV, Live and Stories so that users can browse products and make purchases through those posts. Previously, the most widely available form of Instagram shopping was regular feed posts. Instagram Reels is expected to be made shoppable later this year.

Instagram Shopping on IGTV enables users to watch a video and then complete their purchases via the in-app checkout, or they can visit the seller’s website to buy. This service allows creators and influencers to monetize their user base more directly on Instagram, while also giving brands a way to sell merchandise to their followers. Instagram has says it will also soon begin testing shopping within its newer feature and TikTok rival, Reels.

Instagram isn’t the only social media platform that sees the potential for ecommerce.  TikTok has run tests, although it hasn’t taken any features widespread yet, and some believe that Walmart’s interest in acquiring TikTok could capitalize on the growing social commerce trend. And Pinterest has a well-established ecommerce operations with its Shoppable Pins feature.

According to Statista, Canada has become a particularly profitable market in recent years thanks to its sizeable digital population,. In late 2019, ecommerce retail trade sales amounted to almost $1.85 billion Canadian dollars, with approximately 28.1 million Canadians having made purchases online. Revenue generated within the retail ecommerce market is expected to be more than $33 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, up from $25.4 billion in 2019.

In April of this year, Statista stated that ecommerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to an all-time high of $3.43 billion Canadian dollars, compared to just over $2.76 billion Canadian dollars in the prime holiday shopping month of December in 2019. The surge in online shopping sales is, of course, related to COVID-19.

According to Warc, that interest in ecommerce from a consumer perspective will also translate into a big increase in ad spend; it’s the one form of digital ad investment whose forecasts were upgraded following COVID-19. Overall, Warc predicts that brands will spend $59 billion, globally, on ecommerce advertising.