The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, and Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, are both testing products to improve the ecommerce experience on their respective platforms.
Instagram is testing the ability for businesses to run organic shopping posts as ads within Ads Manager.
The test will run over the next few months, with plans to build and test the incorporation of a checkout option into these ads, enabling people to complete purchases without leaving the Instagram application.
Facebook said 80% of Instagrammers follow businesses, and over 130 million accounts tap to reveal tags on shopping posts every month.
Alisa Harada, marketing manager at apparel retailer Revolve, said in an email, “We’re incredibly excited to amplify our shopping presence on Instagram by running our organic shopping posts as ads. It’s important for us to test new methods and evolve our digital marketing strategy as we continue to learn about our consumers’ behavior and shopping habits through new products that Instagram is offering. We’re looking forward to seeing how this can impact our business.”
And a small subset of advertisers on Facebook will begin testing an experience in the coming weeks that ties native checkout together with the social network’s ads system, enabling dynamic ads with checkout in News Feed and giving people the chance to complete their purchases without leaving Facebook and being rerouted to other websites.
Facebook said its goal is to reduce friction during the checkout process—”shortening the time between ‘I want it’ and ‘I got it’”—noting that the projected opportunity cost to businesses from that friction is $213 billion this year in the U.S alone, caused by slow checkout processes and bad customer-experience design.
The social network said more than one-third of its U.S. users are using its Marketplace ecommerce destination every month, adding that it will explore the expansion of this test to more advertisers as it learns more.