Instagram and Google Launch Interactive Online Shopping Portals
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Shop 'til you drop without having to wear a mask. Instagram and Google this week each launched new e-commerce destinations, encouraging folks to continue spending money online instead of venturing out to brick-and-mortar stores.
Instagram (which recently turned photos and Stories into shoppable posts) on Thursday introduced Instagram Shop to the Explore tab, making it easier to browse and buy from brands and creators directly in the app. Just look for IG's colorful checkout arrows (>>) to find available products. "Discover the latest trends, get personalized recommendations, and preview exclusive launches, all in one place, so you can browse and buy the products that you love," according to a company blog announcement. The feature is rolling out now in the US before expanding globally "in the coming weeks."
Customers will soon be able to check out seamlessly with Facebook Pay, from Instagram's parent company. The system promises an extra layer of security via the option to add a unique PIN or device biometrics (Touch or Face ID). Later this year, keep an eye out for the appearance of a standalone Shop tab in the Instagram navigation bar.
Google is taking a page out of Instagram's influencer book with the new Shoploop app, developed in its experimental workshop Area 120. The experience, according to General Manager Lax Poojary, "is more interactive than just scrolling through images, titles, and descriptions on a traditional e-commerce site."
All Shoploop videos are capped at 90 seconds, "and help you discover new products in an entertaining way," Poojary explained. "We want to help people experience the look and feel of products they're shopping for in real life without going to a physical store ... Shoploop helps you get product reviews from real people who are knowledgeable about the products in a particular area." The application is currently focused on content creators, publishers, and store owners in the beauty industry—mainly makeup, skincare, hair, and nails.