Instagram News: Shoppable, what does it really mean for affiliates?

Influencer marketing has become one of the most talked about digital mediums in the course of the past year. It’s by far becoming one of the most popular ways of marketing brands and products online.
Instagram has become one of the biggest platforms for utilising influencers in 2019 – and for digital marketers and affiliates, it is an important social channel. As we move forward in a digital and omni-channel environment, we should start to explore what this concept could mean for our industry and the future of affiliate marketing.

Shoppable Instagram Posts 

Instagram’s recent roll out of shoppable posts has meant that an engaged follower has an average of $65 order value while on Facebook the average order value is $55. This shows why Instagram are invested in creating tools that can enable direct selling on their platform. 
Shoppable Instagram posts have not yet been rolled out for all accounts – but those that do have access can set up a product catalogue using Shopify or BigCommerce. Once approved, brands and influencers can tag products and utilise the Instagram Checkout feature. Everything is safe and secure, and this is becoming very popular. 

Shoppable Stories

It is also worth noting that in September 2018, Instagram added Shoppable Stories, which allow brands to add tags to stories that will take them directly to a product page. This feature usually will take customers to a mobile site, rather than using the Instagram checkout for now.

What does this really mean?

Anyone can sell online with no real skill required to create a complex website. We are moving into the next stage of online marketing and selling. Influencers can target and monetise their audiences or customers directly.  
There is no real need to learn about multiple digital mediums to grow and attract an audience. A website requires SEO, content marketing, development, design – it is a costly exercise to build, find and engage an audience. 
But now – it doesn’t have to be. You can simply pick a social channel that best suits you and your business. You can then build your entire business model around it.

Looking to the Future and beyond: 

You’ll always be looking for the next big way to market your offers and promotions. After two decades in the business, I’ve realised that affiliates are some of the most resourceful digital marketers that I know. 
They are agile, and they live at the forefront of digital innovation. It appears that selling on Instagram could be something that really takes off in the next few months, and in the coming years could potentially change the way we sell services and products online. 
With the introduction of this new feature, we could find ourselves doing business using our social media channels rather than via the traditional desktop sites or apps. 
Will people continue to use the sites that we have put a lot of work into? Or will we simply use these channels for selling our products and promotions?  Will we be able to sell sports merchandise in the future? Will we be able to create offers and attract new customers this way? 
We won’t know the answers just yet – but I’ll be keeping an eye on the changes and disruption to see where these new features may lead 

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