Instagram: first you saw, now you can buy
Customer Focus

Instagram: first you saw, now you can buy

Social shopping on Instagram - three questions for Nadine Neubauer

7/12/2018 By Nick Marten
An icon is changing the world of social media. A little shopping bag is the symbol for ‘Social Shopping’. Since March, it has been directing Instagram users in Germany to where they can buy what they are looking at. We spoke to Nadine Neubauer, Brand Development Lead Central Europe at Instagram.

What features does the new tool contain?

The name says it all - with the Shopping tool you can now not only look at your favourite products on Instagram but buy them too, without having to leave the app. Through the new feature, companies can directly link up to five products from their product catalogue to your organic posts and thereby forego circuitous routes such as posting a link in the description next to the photo - the whole thing is therefore much simpler. The community can recognise a Shopping post by means of a little shopping bag and the products being marked with price tags in the photo itself. These shortcuts provide all of the information about a product at your fingertips, which can then simply be added to your basket in the online shop. We are currently testing the Shopping feature for use with Instagram stories too - in Germany we are being assisted by Kapten & Son and HUGO BOSS.

What expectations did you have for the introduction of Instagram Shopping on the German market? And were they met?

In my day-to-day work I hold a lot of discussions with companies about their requirements when they use Instagram. Shopping is a longingly awaited feature and from my point of view it is also the logical next step. The entire customer journey can now take place on the platform itself - from the moment of inspiration right up to the purchase. That is a huge advantage for every company. Organic posts can now stimulate product purchases in the online shop much more strongly.

The feedback in the first few months after Shopping was introduced confirms our expectations. Many German companies of all different sizes were on board from the outset - including OTTO, for example. The feature scores highly for its intuitiveness and a company called DefShop has already provided a German example of how Shopping can help to boost sales figures. The Streetstyle online shop was able to increase its sales by 64 per cent within the first week.


Could you give us three quick tips about how to use Instagram Shopping?

  • Firstly: The community loves to be taken on a voyage of discovery. That’s why we find that it works best to mark up several products in the same Shopping post.
  • Secondly: Business content is intermingled with that of friends, stars and the media on Instagram. It’s therefore also important to tell exciting stories about the products in Shopping posts. Instagram stories lend themselves to fulfilling this purpose particularly well - this is one of the reasons why we have recently started testing the Shopping feature for this format too.
  • Thirdly: Using lifestyle visual imagery, in which elements of various product categories are meaningfully combined, has a much greater capacity to inspire. I’d therefore advise lending products a context - for example a day by the sea or a city break.

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