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Instagram Shopping Is About to Get A Powerful Upgrade

by Mandy Pao

The digital retail ecosystem will evolve again this summer as Instagram expands product tags to all users — wonderful news for both influencers and brands. Currently, only Business and Creator accounts can tag products to their posts, but the upcoming update will allow everyone, including you, to tag a product in any post — Instagram Shopping Tag. 

By this summer, people will be able to identify a product, tag it and shop, directly from the image or video in which it’s featured. Want to share your favorite pair of jeans? Tag them! Want to share the meal you just had delivered? Tag it! Did you just finish reading a best-selling book? Tag that too. It’s an easy way for users to shop, and it’s a new avenue for brands both large and small. 

With the growth of eCommerce and online shopping, especially during COVID-19, people like being able to go directly from seeing something in a post to buying it. 

So How Does It Work? 🧐

Instagram Shopping allows you to tag products in your Instagram posts. A fan or influencer can post a photo of their favorite product and tag it. Then, someone who sees the post only needs to click the tag to buy the product. 

When someone taps a product tag, a small window with product information including the name, price and retailer of the product will be shown. Shoppers can tap the shopping bag icon or click “Buy” later on the post to make a purchase.

An Extra Bonus For Affiliate Marketing 🔥

Instagram will be simultaneously testing an affiliate marketing tool ​​that works with product linking — something worth keeping your eye on if you or your clients have an eCommerce business. What we know so far is that if a user clicks the shopping tag, they’ll be taken directly to the brands’ website where they can purchase the product, rather than just viewing the product page within Instagram. 

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for bloggers to make money online as they earn commissions on any sales made through the posts. This is likely going to cause a huge disruption in social eCommerce.

How Will This Change Social Media? 🤯

For Instagram users and brands with smaller followings, these new shopping tags may have an even bigger impact than on the influencers who can share them. The tags will enable people with smaller audiences to behave as micro-influencers. The update will also be a win for influencers. It allows fans to stay on their profiles instead of being redirected to another account for that product.

Furthermore, the shopping tag allows for a two-way conversation between the brand and its influencers, without needing any outside promotions. Instead of being paid in a one-time promotion with a brand, the influencer has an ongoing income from them. Typically, the brands provide new products that are relevant to the influencer and their followers.

Keep in mind this feature will only be accessible in the U.S. in the beginning and will only work if a brand tags products that they already sell on their website.

Quote 🛒

“Being able to now tag products, not just brands, will hopefully make it easier for others to discover the products their friends and family are recommending online.”

— Leslie Valdivia, co-founder of Vive Cosmetics

Takeaways 📱

🛍 Instagram’s upcoming Shopping Tag will allow normal users to tag shoppable products on any post or video.

🤑 Instagram will also be testing functions that boost affiliate marketing where users can be taken directly to a brand’s website to purchase products.

🔥 The Shopping Tags will enable people with smaller audiences to behave as micro-influencers.

In case you're interested, check out our article "Biggest Social Media Trends of 2022."

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