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Instagram Partners with Brands to Provide Integrated E-Commerce Capabilities

20 March 2019 - 11:49 by Sarah Collinson

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Image-sharing app Instagram is aligning itself more closely with the retail sector by trialling a new feature that will allow users to make purchases via safe shopping online without having to head to a separate platform in the process.

Internet Retailing reports that the app is partnering with a number of mainstream fashion and cosmetics companies so that the transactional capabilities will be at the fingertips of users.

This makes sense for several reasons, not least because Instagram is the primary platform used by influencers to market branded products and make money. By allowing users to purchase the items they see in the pictures that pop up in their feed, everyone will benefit.

The trial run of this service will give a handful of users in the US the option to click through and purchase from within the app, using a new checkout solution to go through with the transaction immediately or save it for later.

Any brands which choose to harness this feature will pay a commission for the privilege, but given the immediacy and intimacy of the relationships that can be fostered with audiences via Instagram, this will likely be seen as easily justifiable.

Nearly nine in ten consumers under the age of 25 are regular users of Instagram, which makes it more widely used than Facebook amongst this up and coming age group. As such, it will only increase its influence over retail as time passes, so offering in-app shopping makes a lot of sense.

Brands may be clamouring to get in on the act if this service proves to be a success, although it could also rile many other e-commerce sites which may see visitor numbers fall if shoppers have less reason to leave Instagram to make a purchase.