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TECHNOLOGY

Instagram Introduces New Platform Updates to Boost Holiday Sales

Instagram is adding product tags for videos and redesigning the “Shop” tab for business accounts.

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BY Peter Roesler - 19 Nov 2018

instagram new platform boost holiday sales

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The holiday shopping season is here, and that means retailers are engaged in a fierce competition to get their products seen by their target audience. Using social media is a good way to accomplish this, but with so many retailers trying to do the same thing, it's important for businesses to use every tool at their disposal to make their social content better suited to make conversions. Instagram is introducing several new changes that could help retailers boost their sales this holiday season.

One of the biggest changes is a redesign on the shop tab that some Instagram pages have. Instagram profiles that are set as business pages and are connected to a Facebook page with products for sale can tag products in their Instagram posts. All of the items that are tagged will show up in a Shop tab.

As the company explained in a blog post announcing the changes, "We're also testing a redesign of the Shop tab on business profiles so you can quickly view all the products featured in their shopping posts. When you visit a business profile, tap on the 'Shop' button to see their products, such as the item name, price, and the post featuring the item. It's a great way to browse all the products from a brand you love on Instagram, in one place."

In order for products to be available for tagging in posts, the businesses needs to add the products to their Facebook Catalog via the 'Catalog Manager' section of their Facebook business page. There are multiple ways to add products to the catalog. Besides entering items manually, business owners can use a structured data file, connect their site using a specialized Facebook pixel, or integrate their Facebook account with their merchant platform (e.g. Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento or Google).

Another way Instagram is making it easier for businesses to convert content viewers into customers is by allowing users to create their own shopping collections where they can save things they found on Instagram that they may want to buy later.

All Instagram users will need to do is tap a product tag in Stories or Feed, then tap the Save icon in the bottom right corner to save it to their Shopping collection. Just like existing collections, users can access their Shopping collection from their profile page so they can revisit the items later. This can also be a useful tactic for social influencers who want to showcase new products they've found to their audience.

Another important change is the ability to tag products in videos. This feature has been available for photos for a while, but now it can be done for videos, which are a popular format on Instagram. Tagging the products in a video makes it easier for viewers to quickly find and shop for the things they see on a brand's video.

This feature has a lot of potential for businesses that use their branded Instagram page to show videos of people wearing their clothes or using their products. Tagging the items shown in the video is better than using the text portion of the posts to list all of the items. Tagged items can be saved for viewing later and can be used to take shoppers directly to a place where they can buy the item. All of this makes it significantly easier for brands on Instagram to make conversions.

For more news about new ways to showcase products online, read this article about Google's newest updates for product listings.

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