Instagram Shop tab: Instagram is starting a small global test of the Instagram Shop tab which allows Instagram users to shop from top brands and creators via a new tab in the app’s navigation bar with just one tap.
This feature first announced this May, Here, users will be able to filter products by categories, as they can today via the existing Shop experience within Instagram Explore.
Instagram shopping is a place where users can browse and buy products without leaving the app.
Instagram’s work to find the right place for its new ‘Shops’ tab, which it first previewed back in May as part of the announcement of Facebook and Instagram Shops, which are in the process of being rolled out.maybe you have noticed your in-app buttons within Instagram moving around a bit of late and your ‘Direct’ icon has gone to the bottom function bar instead of up top, or your activity tab (the heart icon) has disappeared, then come back again days later. And now, more users will start seeing the new ‘Shop‘ () tab within their bottom function bar, as Instagram looks to the next stage of its eCommerce expansion.
Before having a dedicated tab in the navigation menu, Instagram shopping could be accessed via the Explore section. That’s where it will still reside for users who aren’t part of this test.
Though the company in May had also announced plans for a newly designed Instagram Shop with a different layout than what’s available today through Explore, those changes aren’t being tested at present. Instead, this new global test will direct users to the same “Shop” experience that U.S. users have been able to reach by tapping the “Shop” button in Explore.
Previously only available in the US, Instagram users around the world will now be able to access the Shop section.
The difference is traditional heart icon in Instagram’s navigation menu or Activity icon () will be replaced with a shopping bag icon().
As reported by TechCrunch, Instagram is now testing the new Shops tab globally, with a small group of users. At present, tapping on the Shops tab will take you to the existing shopping experience in the app, with a listing of posts that have Shopping Tags added via approved merchants. But soon, the tab will highlight even more purchase options, as parent company Facebook expands its new on-platform selling options to more businesses.
The tab, as noted, is the next step in making eCommerce a bigger focus in the app – and with eCommerce sales rising amid the COVID-19 lock downs, and boutique sellers losing out on opportunities to generate income from their work – via markets, retail shows, in-mall pop-ups, etc. – now is the best time for Facebook to make a bigger push.
In this version, users will only see products from brands they follow. It’s like a personally curated feed of products from brands a users is already interested in.
The other version of Instagram Shop, accessible through the Explore tab, is designed to surface products from a wider selection of retailers. Products can be filtered by category, such as Beauty, Clothing & Accessories, Home, Jewelry & Watches, and Travel. Some products can be purchased directly on Instagram, while others will need to be purchased on the retailer’s website.
The purpose of testing two different versions of Instagram Shop is to determine the best way to roll out the feature to everyone in the future.
Instagram says to TechCrunch that it will use the results of this test to determine how it will roll out Shop further down the road. It’s possible the company could revisit the idea of replacing Activity with Shop if it didn’t increase Shop traffic and conversions.
“This is a small global test of the Instagram Shop tab that we announced in May. We’ll use this test to assess how we decide to roll this out further”
The next expansion of this will be the eventual development of Facebook Pay, which will make it easier for users to make, essentially, one-click purchases in-app. Facebook’s still working through the regulatory detail of its in-stream payments, but eventually, it will be very easy for Instagram users to simply tap on a product they like, based on an Instagram post or Story, and make a purchase.