On the 20th of March 2018 Instagram made the very exciting announcement that they had officially launched ‘Shopping on Instagram’ in the U.K. The announcement has come after a year-long trial in the U.S that was very successful and a short test phase of 3 high street retailers in the U.K. One of which was Marks and Spencer. The feature is currently only available on organic posts and can’t be used with paid ads or boosted posts although last month ( February 2018) Instagram did begin to entice retailers with shopping ads. What is shopping on Instagram and why it’s a great opportunity.  Shopping on Instagram is a new feature that allows business pages to tag up to 5 items on each image they post. Each of these tags will then have a link attached to further product information and an option to purchase the item from the businesses online store. Users can just scroll through their feed like they usually would and if they see a product that they like then they can tap on the image and the tags appear.       According to Digital Information World, there are 800 Million monthly active users and 500 Million of which are daily active users. 53% percent of the people using Instagram on a daily basis follow a brand and all users are on the platform for an estimated 15 minutes a day. Instagram isn’t just getting an incredible amount of consumer attention either, the attention is actually converting into real tangible sales. In 2016 a third of Instagram users purchased an item of clothing they saw on the platform first and @Lulus have attributed 1,200 orders and 100,000 website visits to the feature so far. This means there is a lot of potentials and if ever there was a time to start building a community on Instagram it’s now. How to set up and use shopping on Instagram. The feature is currently available for any business on Instagram that sells physical/tangible goods. You must have a business profile (not a personal account)  that has been approved for shopping and linked to a Facebook page that has a verified product Catalogue attached. Once set up you may have to go into your setting on Instagram and enable the shopping feature. To apply shopping links simply tap on the image you are uploading and select the product and description you would like to attach.      

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