Instagram has introduced a new shoppable ad unit in an effort to advance the social platforms e-commerce efforts. “Collections” were first tested on Facebook where they received very positive feedback from brands and users and have been slightly modified for Instagram.
Collections provide an in-app experience where users can “discover, browse and purchase products and services from their mobile device in a visual and immersive way.”
Collections appear in users main news feed and include a photo or video accompanied by several product images. Once the user clicks the collection they will land on a full-screen canvas ad where they will can make purchases without leaving the platform.
With an estimated 200 million Instagram users following fashion or fashion-related accounts, Instagram has fittingly selected Birchbox and Revolve as the first brands to test collection ads on Instagram (with many more sure to follow).
The news announcing Instagram collections comes just after Snapchat’s announcement of its own in-app store (yes, they are selling a $20 hot dog plushie). The social e-commerce race is on!
What does this mean for brands?
According to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, “about two-thirds of the visits to Instagram business profiles are from people who don’t yet follow them. This is how many businesses are finding new customers.”
Collections allow brands to deliver a first-class e-commerce experience with ease; targeted to relevant audiences. As mobile users continue to dominate social, we’ll all be watching closely to see how platforms adopt, evolve, and grow e-commerce experiences.