How to Make Your Instagrams Shopable

The race to transform social media platforms into e-commerce juggernauts has tech companies including Google, Facebook, and Twitter integrating all manner of bells and whistles into their user offerings. But as of now, it still may be easier to use a third-party app to make your social posts shopable.

One of the easiest e-comm helpers for Instagram is Like2Buy, an app that’s currently partnering with big retailers including Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, and Target to turn social into sales. It works by routing Instagram users to a retailer’s website product pages through a link embedded in the account’s profile data.

A bit of background: Instagram and Pinterest have proven to be the most product-friendly social platforms of the bunch. But while links in Pinterest posts go directly to website product pages (where you can buy products), Instagram is set up to be more like a window-shopping opportunity: There’s no way to embed a link to outside websites/product pages in the actual posts. This has been frustrating for retailers.

But smart retailers have gotten around this technicality by pasting the phrase, “link in profile” in posts, which asks users to scroll back up to the account’s profile at the top of the page, then click on the link to go to an outside website. Still, once at the store’s website, you may have to dig around to find the actual item. That’s a lot of friction to snap up a cute pair of earrings.

Companies including Like2Buy are offering retailers and shoppers a more direct path to purchase. And for retailers, the return on investment is both instant and quantifiable.

Here’s how Like2Buy works: You see something you like, then click on the one link Instagram allows on account pages (again, it’s in your profile). It then takes you to a neat-and-tidy grid that shows you all the items for sale from a retailer’s feed. You click once more to go to the retailer’s secure mobile site for checkout. 

The app also helps shoppers create Pinterest-style wish lists. When a user likes a photo of a product, it saves that photo in a grid-style configuration, which can be accessed only by the user for future shopping. 

Do you use an e-comm app on your social sites? I’d love to know about it—leave me a comment!

(Photo courtesy Like2Buy)

JCK Magazine Editor