Removing the Need for a Website? Perhaps Not Yet
Instagram’s attempt to cut out the need for an eCommerce platform is currently a double-edged sword. While it certainly does offer eCommerce brands a unique option to sell their products, it’s currently only limited to well-known existing brands such as Adidas, Zara and Uniqlo which are all clothing and fashion related. In addition, many lesser-known eCommerce brands will likely have established audiences on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which will already be pointing to their website. With all of the integrated technologies and existing eCommerce platforms, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a sweeping shift to Instagram checkout, but it will undoubtedly be an enticing option for eCommerce brands.
What it does offer for consumers is convenience. By purchasing directly from the brand in question from Instagram, it drastically increases the chances that a consumer will make that decision to make a purchase from Instagram instead of going over to a website first, adding to cart, signing up for an account and so on. Another advantage is being able to use influencers as a performance channel by using Instagram’s built-in analytics and tracking tools, meaning it becomes much easier for a smaller business to keep track of who their biggest influencers are and also optimise their approach to influencer marketing.
While we won’t see the game change completely, we’ll likely see many eCommerce brands taking greater advantage of influencer ties to Instagram and change their approach to the social media platform for advertising. However, in terms of how it affects other social media platforms and content channels, we likely won’t see much of a difference especially if the brand in question isn’t related to design or fashion.