Marketers will want shopping on Instagram’s Reels for Christmas

Alpha Digital media manager Sofie Spelta explores how Instagram has grown beyond mere photo sharing and into a world of online shopping.

Social commerce is expanding. Instagram has over one billion active monthly users and very soon, creators and brands will be able to make posts shoppable on Reels. Already available now on IGTV, this feature means that for the 80% of users that follow a brand on Instagram, a couple of clicks will be all that’s required to buy products featured in videos.

This is extremely powerful, especially in a visual medium like Instagram. And with restrictions on in-store shopping throughout much of the world this holiday season, you can presume the folks at Instagram are trying to get Reels shopping live asap.

Video gets attention 

One study found that video posts on Instagram generate 1.8-2.4 times more engagements in comments than image or carousel posts. So it’s no surprise that Instagram has been working on productising its video features.

With 500m active daily users, Instagram can certainly begin to lay claims as the world’s largest digital shop window. Those brands that choose to wait, or don’t adopt this new channel, are likely to be left behind. The core demographic on Instagram adopts new technology quickly and brands need to follow suit.

Shifting focus

No longer content as a social network, Instagram is evolving into a shopping platform. The Silicon Valley giants have looked on enviously at WeChat’s success in the social commerce space for years, attempting to replicate their success.

Checkout was launched last year, so that users could make purchases without having to leave the Instagram app. The expansion of where ads can feature within the app has grown too, with ads on Explore coming last June. It helped brands access the 50% of people that used Explore every month. As Reels continues to expand its reach globally, and fuels the time spent on the platform (which is expected to reach 29 minutes) by next year, it will provide additional opportunities for marketers.

It makes a lot of cents 

It represents another way for brands and creators to monetise their content. If Instagram can help creators make more money from their videos, they’re likely to increase their creative output for IGTV and in turn continue to grow total interest in the platform.

This move may also eat into the market share of TikTok globally as it continues to grow. While TikTok has trialled its own version of shopping, for those already with big followings on Instagram, it will represent easier ways to make a living from their audience. Instagram has talked about supporting small businesses and influencers with the change, but marketers of big brands should also be excited by the move.

If a brand’s audience is the right demographic to know about and engage with Reels, then the placement should be considered. Particularly if video has historically performed well for other placements on Instagram.

Brands like Louis Vuitton have already been achieving audience numbers of seven million for its Reel videos, and reducing the friction in payments could broaden it as another sales channel. While it’s been slated for later this year, don’t be surprised if the introduction on Reels comes before Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) at the end of the month.

Sofie Spelta is a media manager at Alpha Digital.


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