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M&S: leading the charge in shoppable social media

Shoppers are increasingly turning to new platforms to shop from and social site Instagram, with its 500m daily users, is leading the charge. M&S has become one of the early retail adopters of the channel, which has now been enhanced by being made shoppable.

Where shoppers once turned to search to find what they were looking for, they are now seeing what they want from brands, celebrities and their own friends on social. In the UK, M&S has been selling on Instagram and found it so successful, it’s now planning to roll it out as a sales channel later this year.

To accelerate this trend, Instagram has launched Instagram shopping across Europe to help retailers leverage the social media traffic they have and make it directly shoppable. Instagram shopping was launched in the US last year and has been trialled in the UK.

Erin Roy, head of media and digital marketing at M&S, said about it: “Instagram shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers. Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers. Shoppable posts take this to a new level.” 

The retailer has already been using Instagram to great effect and has used the channel to create “the must-have jumper of 2018” by flooding Instagram with images of one ladies’ sweater and creating, at a single stroke, a trend.

Getting fashion bloggers to show themselves in this sweater helped it to sell out and the job was done. This is the power of Instagram to the mobile shopping generation. It is a powerful, visual medium that now allows brands to not only put up the content – or in this case get their fashion bloggers to do it for them – but also to allow people to buy from the Instagram feed rather than having to come out of the Instagram app and get into the website.

This is the genius move of making Instagram shoppable – and why M&S is forward thinking in terms of being one of the first to get on board.

Since Instagram is already seen by the younger shoppers as a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile, it’s now being seen as the venue for choice for merchants in fashion, jewellery, beauty, furniture and home decor to grow their customer base in a meaningful way.

Susan Rose, director of product marketing, Instagram, says: “We know that people come to Instagram to be inspired and to discover new products from the businesses they love. We want them to easily be able to learn more, consider and, ultimately, purchase those products. We’re giving even more businesses the ability to reach people at that moment of inspiration while making it easier for their potential customers to shop directly from Instagram.”

Instagram shopping is now available to merchants selling in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil. 

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