Fashion and social media are two of my passions, so I always love when these two worlds collide.
We, as humans, are innately social people. And shopping in and of itself is a very social behavior. So it only makes sense that eventually, consumers would want to make online shopping more social and community-driven.
Pinterest has been spotlighted as the key network to connect social content and commerce (the e-Commerce site). What I love most about Pinterest is that it’s a highly inspirational vehicle. Consumers can sift through peer-created images, as well as photos from publications and brands, re-pin them and then click on them to make purchases later on. Pinterest breaks down the walls between social media and e-Commerce, which equates to tremendous profit opportunity for retailers.
But for a while, Instagram was a completely different story. While the social network is a vibrant breeding ground for inspirational content, there previously was no direct link to e-Commerce. Sure, some retailers pasted SKU numbers in the location area of an image, but that didn’t really provide much value to the consumer. They still had to exit from their Instagram app, open their web app, enter the retailer’s URL and search for the product number. That’s a hassle if I ever saw one.
Luckily for social-media-loving shoppers like myself, those days are gone. Yesterday, I participated in a Google Hangout with Andrea France, who is a fashion expert at SAP. We talked about consumers’ demands for interactive fashion apps that also link to products. Well, a new offering from Curalate, Like2Buy, is tackling this challenge head-on through Instagram. I spoke briefly about it during the Hangout, but didn’t explain the technology as thoroughly as I wish I did.
Nordstrom and Charlotte Russe are among the retailers currently using Like2Buy, which in essence, recreates Instagram feeds to make them shoppable. Consumers simply click the Like2Buy link in the retailer’s Instagram profile and are taken to their Internet provider. The best part? The Instagram feed is recreated so consumers can click the image and then instantly go to the page for the product featured. The silos are broken down, and consumers can shop socially, without the hassle.
Looks like the new era of social commerce is here, folks! And I can’t wait to see how consumers respond to this new feature.