In a bid to develop its platform's shopping features, Instagram today announced that it is expanding the availability of shopping tags to managed businesses in three new markets in the MENA region - KSA, UAE and Lebanon.
The new feature will enable businesses with a dedicated Facebook sales team to tag products in their posts that will then link through to the product's pages on their websites, making the shopping experience seamless for users.
Shopping tags facilitates on-platform shopping by creating more opportunities and simpler ways for Instagrammers to discover and explore products. As part of the new shopping functionality, a shopping bag icon will appear on Instagram posts that feature tagged products.
When tapped, the tags will reveal more
details and enable people to click through to a product page with more detailed
information and a link to purchase the item on the retailer's own website. This
way, shoppers no longer have to navigate away from Instagram to complete a
transaction. A move that Facebook is focusing on to keep people within its ecosystem.
Shopping tags benefit both Instagrammers and businesses allowing users to explore their favourite brands and products by giving them easy access to additional information and giving businesses additional opportunities to build relationships with their valued customers. All businesses with a catalogue connected to their account can avail of this new feature and tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post.
Shopping tags has enjoyed great success since it was launched in 2017. The feature demonstrates how Instagram is constantly evolving its tools to improve user-experience and enable e-commerce with seamless shopping. It however does raise concerns on automating the process for shoppers who'd want to interact with a real person.
Instagram will also be announcing the introduction of additional shopping features in the coming weeks.