There is good news for online business owners who already have a presence on Instagram: e-commerce click-to-shop ads are coming soon to the popular image-based social media platform. Online retailers will be able to link the product pages in their online stores from their Instagram e-commerce ads.
Instagram is embracing e-commerce slowly but steady. The photo sharing social network introduced its first ads late 2013. Since then, Instagram has focused on glossy campaigns as opposed to click-driven, direct-response efforts. The platform is maintaining a self-fashioned air of exclusivity and the high price to advertise there is a reflection of this image. Brands are paying a premium on Instagram ads; for example, video ads are especially pricey, going for as much as $30 per 1,000 views.
Insider sources from Instagram reveal that the upcoming click-to-shop ads will be finally revealed within the quarter. It is said that Instagram is considering a number of ad formats similar to the customized ad cards on Twitter. The click-to-shop ads will send users to products with ease and will be a game changer for brands wanting to advertise on Instagram. It seems that Instagram is proceeding with caution, because these developments would mark a significant change in the way customers experience and marketers use the platform.
“Instagram wants to show that their click-to-shop concept is not all about the clicks and it is possible to do attribution even where there isn’t a digital trail,” said Issa Asad, a Florida-based entrepreneur and CEO of Quadrant Holdings and Q Link Wireless of Dania, Florida.
Since the photo sharing app Instagram came to be owned by Facebook, roll outs of impression-based marketing tools were offered to brands. Instagram even provided campaign data in order to prove that impressions boost sales more than clicks.
In order to protect the user experience, Facebook wants to be able to monetize some of its newer properties like WhatsApp and Instagram with simple impression-based advertising. They are preparing new ways to integrate buying on the Instagram social media network. “With a single click, marketing campaigns on Instagram will transform viewers into shoppers,” said Asad.
More sophisticated ads will be offered in the near future. Instead of a “buy” button, marketers will be able to link the business account’s Instagram photos to checkout pages online. Since the app is largely a mobile experience, this step is a complicated undertaking. According to digital marketing executives familiar with the platform, the current entry fee for buying ads on Instagram is $200,000.
E-commerce friendly linking capabilities on Instagram have been available since March, 2015. Carousel ads allow brands to post slideshows of images with a button for additional content at the end of the ads. The first big brand that took advantage of the new online marketing opportunity on Instagram was the Banana Republic. They used a link to take viewers to their retailer product page, and consumers were able to directly buy the products they saw in the Instagram ads.
Aimee Lapic, the head of customer experience at Banana Republic declared that they have been thrilled with all these new features on Instagram and will continue to use the new marketing tools as they become available. “However, customer experience would become much easier if a direct connection to shopping would be provided,” said Lapic.