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Social media + Shopping button = Social commerce
Customer focus

Social media + Shopping button = Social commerce

7/23/2018 Editor Annika Remberg
With a simple shopping bag symbol that leads to a shopping function, Instagram has provided an exciting social shopping innovation. Thanks to “Instagram Shopping”, multiple products can be directly linked to posts and offered for sale. Will the popular social network now become a new online shopping alternative? An interview with Kerstin Pape, Head of Online Marketing at OTTO.

In general terms: what roll does social media play at OTTO?

Kerstin Pape: Social media is a very important pillar in our marketing mix. Every month, several million users find their way to via our social media channels. On the one hand, these channels are the place where we can inspire customers and tell them stories about our products. On the other hand, social media is an important dialogue and service channel towards our customers. On average our customers receive an answer to queries posed via our social media channels within 10 minutes.

Is it worth integrating the new Instagram Shopping button?

Kerstin Pape: It’s definitely worth integrating new features early on. For us, Instagram Shopping is in it’s first stages primarily an exciting test case – we’ve already made use of the new feature this morning for our official channel otto_de after its German rollout and we are now offering the shopping function in most new posts.

Social Media is an important dialogue and service channel in the direction of our customers.

Kerstin Pape, Manager Online Marketing at OTTO

In these early stages we don’t yet have an economic target for this service; initially we just want to learn how the community receives and uses this feature, and which factors influence the performance of individual posts – for example we’re seeing that inspirational pictures focusing on a specific product (e.g. trainers) are receiving more clicks via Shopping than product collages, for example. The knowledge gained from this test & learn approach can eventually result in us defining clear performance goals.

How is the button catching on with your customers?

Kerstin Pape: Our findings after the first few weeks of using Instagram Shopping are: there is an increasing acceptance of this feature among users, but in general the uptake is slower than with other new Instagram features – a trend that we are currently observing across the whole market. That is certainly linked to the fact that in the German version of Instagram Shopping there is still no direct payment interface via mobile payment. Therefore users have to make a relatively large number of clicks before they really have a chance to buy the product. There are some reports that mobile payment is already being tested in the USA amongst a small circle of users. If and when Instagram will simplify the process in Germany in the future, e.g. via API interfaces, will become apparent in the coming weeks – and until then we will continue to test out and learn from the feature.

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