As prospects for the high street continue to look grim, many fashion outlets are taking their business not just online but specifically to Instagram. How is social media changing the way we shop?

For the majority, shopping for new products now starts online via social media through a ‘browse, covet and discover’ process on platforms like Instagram. As we browse and covet, products that fit our search begin to popup in the feed through inspiring lifestyle shots of influencers.

More and more brands continue to cash in on this opportunity to sell not just their products, but an entire concept. Capturing the eye of potential customers through a solid content strategy and strategic ad placement has been standard for any brands in the know, and users have then been taken away from social platforms to external websites where the shopping cart process begins.

As of now, that’s changing. Instagram have begun actioning what they’ve always promised by implemented commerce within the platform itself. Shoppable tags on product focused content now open pop-ups of a brand website as opposed to having to exit the platform, simplifying the purchase process.

It’s one more step towards what we’re expecting to be an even more seamless process. Will the pop-ups soon disappear and allow the shopping process to become succinct with the platforms infrastructure? We think so!

This is huge for businesses utilising social media for online shopping and if done strategically will provide their target markets with a simple, quick and easy way to buy. Issues of abandoned carts due to limited time and patience will reduce, meaning higher levels of conversion rates and happier customers – win/win.

“I think Instagram has become the best discovery tool for customers in fashion,” Ditte Reffstrup, creative director at Ganni. “Maybe you stumble across a brand while scrolling, or you want to check out a brand someone tells you about – the first thing you do is go straight to its Instagram profile, not its site.” []

What’s even more thought provoking is what this means for the future of websites themselves. We’ve often predicted that for many sectors the website as a concept will become irrelevant, with social becoming a one stop shop for all marketing purposes online.

With more brands starting Instagram profiles before launching websites and the platforms themselves working to offer everything their users and advertisers need internally, can you see websites eventually becoming irrelevant? Email us your thoughts or tweet us at @wearecrowd

“Spotting something on Insta is the modern equivalent of a great recommendation from a friend,” says Grazia’s fashion news and features editor, Laura Antonia Jordan. “It’s accessible. Aspirational but attainable – that’s the magic combination!” []

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