A report by The Verge on Tuesday claimed that Instagram was developing an app for its foray into eCommerce. The Facebook-owned Instagram declined to comment on the reports, but sources claim that Instagram is ready to plunge into online retail with its very own standalone app.
With 25 million businesses on Instagram having accounts, it would not be difficult for Instagram to ratchet the numbers. More than 2 million of the 25 million business accounts regularly advertise on Instagram, making it a ready-made platform to jump into online retail. Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg claimed that 80% of users of the popular platform followed a business. This makes it an ideal candidate for creating an additional revenue stream without having to actually work towards building a customer base. The platform has its own loyal users, and it only needs to tap into the captive user base while launching the app.
The publication claimed that the app would be called IG Shopping, and would support a feature that is already existing on the platform. The popular app has a stories feature that actually permits users to make in app purchases. Rhonda Abrams, regarded as an expert in small business trends, had, in one of her earlier columns mentioned the growing clout of Instagram in online sales and shopping. The platform has become a powerful tool that has the ability to connect with users and shoppers. With 800 million users of Instagram every single month, the numbers tell the story of the potential of one of the most popular platforms.
Industry experts have for long claimed that Facebook is likely to introduce additional tools, that will be used by merchants who would leverage the reach of the platform. This would pose a direct challenge to other eCommerce platforms including Shopify. Instagram has a strong advantage in this space. With the large number of businesses having business accounts, it will only be a question of time before the merchants begin using paid business tools to tap into the huge user base of Instagram.