Will In­sta­gram click in e-com­merce biz?

Mint ST - - GLOBAL - Nan­[email protected] NEW DELHI

Fol­low­ing the lack of dig­i­tal foot­falls on its mes­sag­ing apps Allo and Hang­outs,

Google is re­port­edly plan­ning to dis­con­tinue them soon

So­cial shop­ping is com­ing of age in In­dia with In­sta­gram be­ing the lat­est en­trant to join the band­wagon, after Google and Face­book. The photo- and video-shar­ing app users will be able to shop for prod­ucts within the app from next year, ac­cord­ing to a news re­port (bit.ly/2zg2nr6).

While users will ini­tially be redi­rected to a mer­chant’s web page to com­plete the pur­chase, over time, the pur­chase will be pos­si­ble within In­sta­gram. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, 90 mil­lion ac­counts on In­sta­gram tap on a shop­ping post to learn more about prod­ucts ev­ery month (bit.ly/2qbuukv). Fur­ther, many fash­ion de­sign­ers and life­style brands are lever­ag­ing the vis­ual na­ture of In­sta­gram to launch their new prod­ucts.glob­ally, In­sta­gram al­lows users to shop through a shop­ping chan­nel as well. With shop­pable posts, cus­tomers have even greater op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with the brands they want to buy, as they have the abil­ity to see rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion, such as prod­uct de­scrip­tion and pric­ing, with a sin­gle click, with­out ever hav­ing to leave the app. The ad­dress­able mar­ket is also huge with In­dian e-com­merce likely to grow more than four­fold to $150 bil­lion by 2022, said a Nasscom-pwc re­port.

How­ever, in a ma­ture e-com­merce mar­ket dom­i­nated by com­pa­nies, such as Flip­kart and Ama­zon, which con­trol more than 80% of In­dia’s on­line fash­ion mar­ket and of­fer deep dis­counts to con­sumers, will In­sta­gram be able to hold its own?

Ac­cord­ing to Sandy Shen, se­nior di­rec­tor an­a­lyst at Gart­ner Inc., In­sta­gram is try­ing to mon­e­tize the large user base it has in In­dia, which is its sec­ond­largest mar­ket. She adds that the suc­cess of this ini­tia­tive will de­pend “on the num­ber of brands that will par­tic­i­pate, the range of prod­ucts avail­able for pur­chases, and the over­all user ex­pe­ri­ence—whether it is a re­di­rect or in-app pur­chase”.

How­ever, Shen does not ex­pect this to have a big im­pact on big fash­ion e-tail­ers “as most con­sumers go to In­sta­gram to so­cial­ize rather than shop”. She con­cludes: “So, the vol­ume of such trans­ac­tions will be much smaller than that of e-com­merce plat­forms that of­ten ap­peal to se­ri­ous shop­pers.” Mean­while, though, on­line shop­pers in In­dia get an ad­di­tional shop­ping chan­nel.

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