E-commerce is a pillar of our modern, digitally saturated economy. In 2012, more than $1 trillion of retail sales were directly connected to e-commerce, and it’s only grown since. In 2014, it’s estimated that ecommerce sales worldwide reached $1.471 trillion, according to data from eMarketer, increasing about 20% over 2013.
With a massive audience reach of over 300 million monthly active users, it only makes sense that Instagram would try to get a slice of the pie. The Facebook-owned photo sharing social network has already begun a slow — but steady — grab at e-commerce, but has now begun launching its first marketing campaigns that will convert users into shoppers with just one click.
At long last, Instagram is rolling out a slew of new marketing tools, one of which lets retailers link their Instagram ads to product pages, allowing users to go buy the products they’re seeing in their feed.
“We’ve been thrilled with all the features we’ve been participating in and plan to continue using the new tools as they become available,” said Aimee Lapic, the head of customer experience at Banana Republic, one of the first brands willing to pay the $200,000 entry fee for ad space on Instagram. “A direct connection to shopping would be a great new tool that, of course, we would love to participate in, as it makes the customer experience that much easier.”
Social media marketing is one of the most vital assets Orlando’s tourism industry has. According to data analytic service Iconosquare, some 4,662,000 have been hashtagged with #Orlando. Visit Orlando, the city’s official source for travel planning, engages with some 13,000 followers, and uses the hashtag #visitorlando to create a thriving digital presence. UniversalOrlando, the Instagram account of one of the city’s major amusement parks, has some 245,000 Instagram followers.
Although such a retail feature would not likely help Orlando, there are other tools on the way that potentially could, according to AdWeek. According to reports, Instagram is considering a number of new ad formats that could be game-changing.
However, these new tools would change part of the social network’s fundamental experience, which is why Instagram is proceeding with caution.
Looking forward, though, it seems that the monetization of Instagram is going fairly well, and will produce some exciting new avenues for marketers, albeit some pricey ones.