You probably have mixed feelings about Instagram; the little pink icon is something you cherish dearly but also makes you feel slightly guilty of over-soliciting daily?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
As of the end of 2017, Instagram officially counts 800 million monthly users, ranking it the 7th most widely used social media platform and making it the 5th most downloaded application on the Apple Store in that same year. The cosmetics industry dominates, included in 23% of all posts, but it is closely followed by the fashion industry. Ask anyone remotely interested in fashion today if they’ve resorted to the application for outfit ideas or brand discoveries and I doubt you’ll get many “No’s”.
It’s undeniable that Instagram and fashion go hand in hand. How has the application been so successful at luring us to it as a primal source of inspiration? The reasons are multifold: bloggers and advertisements are well-known, but one that stands out and is somewhat overlooked is the way the media-sharing platform has democratized the industry and has given us unprecedented insight into the fashion world. Whether it be by viewing unique snapshots of Virgil Abloh in his Milanese atelier designing Off-White’s fall collection or a watching a live diffusion of the most recent Dior show, users have been granted a peephole to experience the previously ultra-enclosed, secret world of fashion.
This novel access to the behind-the-scenes of the fashion stage has, among many other causes, motivated users to enthusiastically participate to the business and shop:
According to L2 Inc.’s 2017 Survey, a whopping 72% of users claim to buy an item after they’ve discovered it on Instagram and 80% of instagrammers follow at least one brand.
As users resort to Instagram for fashion documentation and inspiration as much as they do with magazines nowadays it seems completely logical brands would seize the opportunity to not only engage and advertise but also sell their products directly on the application in the hopes of raising their sales.
So, on March 20th 2018, the highly solicited social media platform introduced a new feature in Italy and seven other countries: fashion and cosmetic products are now directly shoppable from Instagram itself without having to exit the application.
This feature, already launched in October 2017 in the United States, aims to make the consumer experience as seamless as possible. How does it work? If a brand chooses to use it on one of their photos, the user must simply tap on the image, select the product desired and the purchase page of that particular item immediately pops up.
(This facility and rapidity is great news for our closets but not maybe not so great for our wallets..)
Moreover, many rumors have been stating Instagram will soon expand this functionality and allow us to make cinema or restaurant reservations in the upcoming months but no official statements have been made. Will it further revolutionise consumers’ behaviour and buying patterns?