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Social media giant, Instagram, has expanded its reach by introducing a new shopping feature on the platform.

 

With Instagram launching its shoppable feature in Australia on 20 March, businesses can now tag products in photos with name and price information. Users can click on the tag which takes them to a separate product page with a “shop now” banner, enticing users to click further. Clicking on this, customers are redirected to the business' online store, where they can check-out. Along with the swipe-up feature which allows consumers to be redirected to a website, online store or YouTube video from a brands' Instagram story, the shoppable Instagram tags bring purchasing to the main feed.

 

With over 200 million interactions per day – due to a whopping 80% of users following at least one brand, this is a natural extension for Instagram. Instagram won't take any cut from the sales made on the platform either.

 

Many small businesses use the platform to generate sales, create or strengthen their brand and showcase their products for little, to no-cost.

 

“People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses. We want that to be a seamless experience,” Jim Squires, Global Head of Business for Instagram said.

 

Moose Toys has over 100 thousand followers on Instagram. The company regularly posts product shots and has a highly enagaed follower-base.

 

“We are not currently using the shoppable feature on Instagram but it could be considered in the future in alignment to wider eCommerce plans, should it be the right experience for our fans,” Claire McGarry, Global Head of Girls at Moose Toys said.

 

However, when it comes to smaller brands in the Australian Toy industry, the shoppable feature may not have a huge effect.

 

“I would say 90 per cent of people who walk in the door don't know what they want. They have a birthday party to go to in 45 minutes and want someone to sell them something. They don't come in looking for one thing because they don't research beforehand,” Lucas Hipkins of Mind Games, said.

 

Part of the reason why the industry has survived through the online shopping revolution has been because when it comes to buying toys, customers value an experience in a store – there's a certain nostalgia that surrounds shopping for toys that isn't replicated in the online space. Customers have questions like; 'what is a good toy for an 8 year old?' or 'what can you recommend?' that simply can't be answered by an online store.

However, Instagram may be an avenue that many small to medium toy stores could use to boost their business and brand. To read up on some practical tips on how to add the shoppable feature to your Instagram account click here.

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