There's a new trend sweeping the 'gram and it's not a flashy filter. Retailers from all over the globe are starting to use the social media platform to sell their goods, so you can actually shop for stuff while scrolling through their feeds.
You've probably seen the little white shopping bag icons popping up in the upper right hand corner of some of your favorite retailer's feeds. With one click you can view shoppable links to all of the products tagged in the pic, taking you from inspo post to the actual product (and checkout page) in seconds.
And believe it or not, shopping on IG might even be easier than using other e-commerce platforms. For instance, LiketoKnowit allows you to shop just about any social post by simply taking a screengrab and opening it up via their app. And apps like Curalate use links in IG profile bios that take you straight to a landing page where you can shop all of the brand's tagged posts. You can now even shop directly from the image itself (if the retailer/brand has optimized it for that), clicking on something that stands out to you, and going straight to purchasing.
While all of this might initially seem a little, well, out of the ordinary for online shopping, it turns out selling products directly on Instagram is in fact, quite effective. Think about it: Where do you spend most of your idle time? On your phone, likely scrolling through Instagram. Meet the people where they are, right?
According to Gentry Alan, owner of Artefakt—an online retailer that sells art and other home goods online and via IG—Instagram helps bridge the gap between images you're inspired by and the actual end product, creating a more personalized shopping experience. "As a forward-thinking brand, Instagram has allowed us to create a contemporary way of shopping to match—emphasizing mobile-first design that's driven by imagery," says Alan. "We've built a seamless bridge between the images you see and like on Instagram, to the final product—so the end result is a more emotional, yet natural shopping experience."
Kelly Vittengl, founder of Frances Loom adds, "Shopping on Instagram adds more dimension to the experience than just shopping on a website or in-store. You get more of a palpable sense of the brand, more of an understanding of who they are, what they stand for."
It's also a great way for up-and-coming brands to widen their audiences and frankly, sell more stuff. Sandeep Salter, owner and director of Picture Room explains: "Instagram is the quickest way to reach our extended community. We're based in Brooklyn Heights, but we ship work all over the US and elsewhere in the world. Instagram gives our clients access to work that isn't even on our website yet, so we kind of use it like a first look."
If you haven't taken to engaging in retail therapy via the 'gram (or frankly, haven't noticed, but are intrigued), we rounded up a few Instagram accounts to keep your eye on the next time you're online shopping for home decor.
1. @Target: As if we needed another reason to obsess over Target, the fairly priced mega-retailer goes and makes their Instagram fully shoppable. In just two short clicks you can go from one of Target's IG posts to the product's landing page, making shopping—and checking out—a breeze.
2. @CB2: In addition to shoppable Instagram posts (filled with direct-buy tags that take you directly to the product), contemporary home decor retailer CB2 uses brand-related hashtags—like #MyCB2—to offer a more inspired (and streamlined) IG shopping experience.
3. @WestElm: Similar to CB2, West Elm's Instagram feed is brimming with shoppable tagged posts and unique hashtags, such as #MyWestElm, to inspire and assist users to buy their goods via IG.
4. @Chairishco: Online vintage marketplace Chairish has made inspo-to-final product shopping a whole lot easier. One click on their bio link takes you straight to a shoppable e-commerce page, filled with nothing but their gorgeous IG posts and suggested items you can buy from them to score a similar look.
5. @Francesloom: One of the first brands to ever start selling on Instagram, vintage rug reseller Frances Loom has long been a go-to account for exotic textiles. In addition to offering IG-only discounts and previews of new inventory, the brand boasts some pretty devoted followers, who've designated an entire hashtag—#francesloominthewild—to how they've styled their own Frances Loom rugs at home.
6. @Artefakt.studio: Brimming with cool (but affordable) art and home decor items, Artefakt's IG feed is your one-stop shop for interior eye candy. No surprise then that the contemporary brand has made their Instagram account fully shoppable, and updated their website with their IG feed product features, as well.