- Instagram’s @shop account this week launched #AstroWeek2020 to feature online merchants that sell products inspired by astrology. The image-sharing app selected eight small businesses to highlight with shoppable posts in its Feeds and Stories, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The merchants are using a variety of software tools provided by Instagram to help shoppers learn more about products and make a direct purchase. Those tools include product tags that let merchants show more information about their wares, Stories to share behind-the-scenes content and IGTV, Instagram's platform for longer videos.
- Instagram's @shop account showcased the @lunaandquartz and @kaeraz accounts on Dec. 30, @leletny on Dec. 31 and @venusetfluer and @astrologyzone with Susan Miller on Jan. 1. The shopping event today features @novaperfume and @nicolemariepaperie, and will show @sundayforever and @chupi tomorrow.
Instagram's #AstroWeek2020 shopping event is the Facebook-owned app's latest effort to promote social commerce by highlighting small businesses that sell trendy merchandise. The move comes as Instagram is extending its shopping tools to a wider set of marketers beyond big brands, including influencers. While driving direct sales is the goal for @shop, the shopping event also lets Instagram showcase its various software tools for merchants, including shoppable tags, Stories and IGTV. Those tools may help Instagram to differentiate its platform from online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Wish that also provide support for third-party merchants.
Instagram's #AstroWeek2020 follows prior efforts to promote its in-app shopping features, including its first brand campaign that launched last month. The social network debuted a shoppable 60-second spot starring singer Celine Dion that let users buy a curated selection of clothing items and accessories. As the holiday shopping season got under way in late November, Instagram created a curated collection of products inspired by some of the year's biggest style trends that users could purchase without leaving the app. The collections were themed around popular Instagram hashtags from 2019.
Social media apps like Instagram have become more popular for shopping as they seek to connect advertisers with target consumers, especially younger adults. Ninety-two percent of millennials and 97% of Gen Zers said social media is their top source for shopping ideas, per a survey by installment payment service Afterpay. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp and YouTube have added more e-commerce support in the past two years to position themselves as product discovery destinations. Even newcomer TikTok in November began testing shopping ads to capitalize on this burgeoning consumer interest. The percentage of people who said they had used a mobile device to buy a product through social media rose to 57% in Q3 from 53% two years earlier, according to GlobalWebIndex.