Studies show national retailers slow to pick up Instagram shopping technology

Instagram has rolled out a new shopping feature that allows customers to make purchases directly via the app, without having to follow a ‘link in bio’. The feature has been much sought-after amongst users, but new research from Cybertill has shown that uptake by retailers has been slow.

More than 80 per cent of national retailers failed to make use of the new functionality aimed at driving traffic to e-commerce platforms, the study revealed.

Instagram rolled out its Shopping feature to business accounts in the United Kingdom, as well as Germany France, Italy Brazil, Canada, Spain and Australia last week, yet just 8 per cent of UK brands have made use of the photo tags which drives followers to buy the Instagrammed-goods online.

None of the top five retailers in the UK including ASOS, ASDA, Tesco, Argos, Next have yet enabled the feature. Of the retailers that don’t have the Instagram Shopping feature enabled, 7% encourage the consumer to go in-store, 19% encourage consumers to click the link in the retailer’s Instagram bio, 19% encourage the consumer to search for product code on the website, the rest don’t actively promote ‘buy’ calls to action from Instagram.

M&S and Topshop were two of the first retailers to enable the feature out of the top 50.

“Retailers shouldn’t be precious about selling channels,” said Ian Tomlinson, CEO of Cybertill. “Smart retailers move quickly to offer consumers what they want, when they want it. Experiential retailing is essential to winning over hearts and minds of consumers. Instagram is about as experiential as e-commerce can get. Instagram has always been a very good platform for selling, without the tools to do so effectively. That’s all changed now and retailers need to get with the program, or else be left behind.”