With over 200 million monthly users the commercial potential of the Instagram is undeniable!
From pets to accessories, thousands of people and businesses initiate sales on Instagram. Once this connection is made, sales transactions are completed elsewhere, either by a direct contact through a phone app, email or by sending the buyer to a website.
Naturally, there are attempts to exploit the e-commerce potential of Instagram. Here are two companies who are doing just that:
This app allows users to search posts tagged #for sale on Instagram. Once a seller is registered with Hashbag, they can process a transaction within the platform. If they are not, Hashbag sends a buyer to the seller's profile to continue the conversation about the item for sale. (here is what a hashbag store looks like)
This app allows selling right in the comments of Instagram posts. If a buyer likes a product on a picture, all she needs to do is to comment "sold", and Soldsie sends an invoice to a buyer to complete the transaction. The last time I checked (early April), they had a wait list.
While each of these are still too new to know much about how successful they will be, their existence makes it clear that this trend is likely to continue as more and more people use Instagram for selling. Here is a great video by our friends at Hootsuite with some tips for selling on Instagram:
"Instagram has become so ingrained in our social media routine that we rarely even notice how often we scro through the photo feeds on any given day. That's why marketers have been paying special attention to the social
network, with its rapid growth in active user base and popularity among the younger generations."