As fashion and beauty turns to tech to stay afloat during the Coronavirus pandemic, online-platform shopping features are set to become ‘the new mall.’
Though the thought of returning to a mall in the middle of a global pandemic might seem unusual to most, many are finding themselves longing for the familiar hustle and bustle of weaving through hordes of people in search of a single t-shirt. However, if you – like me – have grown tired of the crowds and the knowledge that it’s never the ‘in-and-out’ job you promised yourself it’d be, then you’re in luck because Instagram’s new shopping feature means you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home again.
‘Instagram is the new mall,’ says co-founder of media company Questus, Jeff Rosenblum. ‘You can interact with your friends; you can interact with brands.’ As part of the social media giant’s efforts to encourage users to shop within the app, Instagram has introduced an entire page dedicated to brand stores, curated product collections, and items personalised to each user’s following.
Originally announced in May, Instagram is currently testing out the feature, replacing the heart-shaped activity button on the main navigation bar with the shopping tab. According to the company, users can filter the brands they follow by category, dividing their options into Clothing, Beauty, and Accessory sections (to name a few examples).
‘The value of this feature is that it removes friction in the buying journey,’ adds Rosenblum. ‘Any time you can remove any friction, it’s going to generate probably the strongest return on investment that a brand can find. Just being able to get people when they’re ready to buy is so powerful.’