Instagram continues to get more shoppable. In line with the broader shoppability trend, it’s finding more and more ways to be a place to discover products, and transact on the spot. This has been underway for years at Instagram and other social channels but has been Covid-accelerated in the past few.
The latest in Instagram’s Shoppability conquest came last week when it announced that it’s rolling out product and service quotes. These let businesses set up typical lead-gen forms to qualify customer interest and, correspondingly, give interested customers easier tools to reach out to businesses.
This could be a way for Instagram to formalize activity that’s already happening when consumers discover products in their feeds. And it’s yet another way to continue to attract businesses to use Instagram as a marketing channel – a key piece in its Shoppability puzzle (more on that in a bit).
Speak the Language
Going deeper on the drivers and dynamics of the new feature, it adds a “Get Quote” button on business profiles (and a similar sticker on Stories). When activated, the button/sticker lets Instagram users fill out a questionaire and request a quote about whatever product or service they were looking at.
On the other end, businesses can set up these buttons and customize the questionaire that qualifies users’ interests. This is meant to attract businesses by saving them time with a qualified lead tool. That makes the new feature similar to lead-gen forms that have been around forever… now on Instagram.
In that way, this tool “speaks the language” of a wide swath of businesses – especially service-based SMBs. Correspondingly, this could be yet another move from Meta to tap into the long-tail opportunity in SMB marketing spend. Lead Ads have already been prevalent on Facebook for car dealerships.
In fact, we heard from one such business at Localogy 2022 last week. Castle Auto Group validated that Facebook Lead Ads have been one of the most streamlined and effective tools used in the auto vertical. This is a receptive segment that has spent lots of past dollars on radio and newspapers.
The question is if this translates to Instagram, where shopping and product discovery skews more towards fashion and food. But there’s likely a sweet spot on the Venn diagram of Instagram-fitting products, and those for which lead capture forms are natural (think: custom crafts & design).
Meanwhile, the “Get Quote” buttons are rolling out as part of National Small Business week and will be available for all businesses to begin producing. There’s no discreet charge, but this loss-leader approach is presumably to attract businesses who convert to paid advertisers. We’ll watch for signs of that.
Back to the broader shoppability trend, it marks the rise of buy buttons and transactional calls-to-action in everything from Instagram Stories to YouTube videos to real-world items you point your phone at. The latter continues to emerge in visual search such as Google Lens and Snap Scan.
As noted, this isn’t a new phenomenon given years of social media giants adding buy buttons to their feeds. This is a natural pairing as people like to share tastes and brand affinity, thus offering products a viral kick. And all of the above has accelerated as it piggybacks on Covid-driven eCommerce inflections.
With respect to Instagram’s latest move, it builds on its status as one of the O.G. shoppability plays. It’s cultivated and conditioned a use case around product discovery. Expect it to continue building on that UX persona in ways that reduce friction in the eCommerce flow – from browsing to buying.