Image shopping? Shoppable posts? How do people shop from images? Well, you have been able to ‘shop’ on Instagram for a while now. Last year, they launched a very successful tool for people to shop products directly from a post. Some brands have really made the most of this tool and use it frequently to sell their products. See some examples below from brands such as Topshop, ASOS, and Cluse.
The best bit about this image shopping tool is that it streamlines the buying journey. Customers can complete the entire buying journey without ever leaving the Instagram app. Talk about user-experience! You see something you like, you click on the button, explore the details on the website, pop it in your basket and bob’s your uncle it’s on the way to your house in moments. In this day and age when people are used to immediate and fast experiences, its perfect for brands to capture their audience and push sales. Especially in the age of the influencer where people are constantly discovering products via social media and are always ready to buy immediately with the likes of Apple pay/Google pay already set up for purchase, Instagram (well Facebook) have really captured the market. Even better when image shopping and shoppable posts can also be paid advertisements that can target people who are likely to buy your product – business is booming for people who are using their tools successfully.
But there’s more. In the last few days, Google have been testing shoppable image searches, allowing consumers to browse their image searches and reach the products immediately – meaning that the consumer only has the journey so easily set out for them. The smooth buyer journey means that less people drop off before the purchasing stage purely because its so easy for them to get to that stage. Imagine, it takes you less than a minute to make a purchase, this means that there’s much less opportunity to change your mind! Up until now, there has been image shopping but through second party websites and the shopping search. Now Google is experimenting with rolling out to their image searches too.
The other benefit, one that I find particularly useful, is that when I see an image and I like the product, it’s always quite annoying if you can’t find out where the product is from. I quite like having a browse and little look at the product to see if its in my price range or my size – if the button is there, it makes this easy for me to do and makes it much more likely that I’m going to make a purchase. If I have to leave what I’m doing to find the product elsewhere, to check things such as size and price, I’m much less likely to do so and I’m definitely not alone in this.
The user-experience and the buyers journey are huge, popular buzzwords in the e-commerce and digital marketing world. What does the customer want? How does the customer get from A – B? Is it easy for them to complete the desired action? For example, if you want somebody to subscribe to your blog, the subscribe box needs to be easy and accessible, if it’s two or three clicks away from the original page, the action is not likely to be completed, and this thought process is, arguably, even more important for e-commerce because people are spending their money. They aren’t going to spend their money if their experience has been negative are they? Or at least, some of them aren’t.
So will it work?
We think that this is potentially a great step for e-commerce. In this day and age, people want to be able to shop online and shop instantly, but obviously, the downside is not having that shop aisle to browse down… But will Google image searches imitate this? If you can browse images for products like you can browse in a shop, surely this makes the online shopping experience even better? Google could become a department store of online shopping. However, in order for this to work, it has to be easy for businesses to get their products online. If its just the superbrands that are capable of doing this, due to the potential complexity, it really isn’t going to benefit the smaller e-commerce businesses, like Instagram does. The beauty of Instagram is that is really does help to celebrate smaller businesses, with shoppable posts being pretty easy to set up. So, who knows? If Google get it right, it could be a great phenomenon and be a great step for e-commerce. If they don’t, then Instagram still wins in this department for now.
If you want to learn how to set up your image shopping on Instagram then check out these guides from Instagram and Facebook:
We’ll keep you updated when we learn more about Google image shopping – we’re just as excited as you. Subscribe to our blogs to get the latest updates.