#Shoptalk18: Instagram expands shopping service to UK

Instagram is launching its shopping service in the UK, which will give retailers the ability to drive sales through the social media platform.

Up until now, retailers have been able to use the platform to advertise their products and engage with customers. Already available in the US, Instagram is offering retailers the option to tag products in their posts, which will direct customers to purchase pages.

With 760,000 followers on Instagram, M&S was one of the first UK brands to trial the solution. Head of digital marketing, Erin Roy said Instagram Shopping offers the retailer “huge potential”.

“Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers,” said Roy. “Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level.”

Speaking at Shoptalk 2018, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the industry is “underestimating the impact of mobile”.

“It’s fundamentally the single biggest transformation to consumer behaviour in our lifetime. And it’s changing businesses,” she said.

During her keynote at the event in Las Vegas, Everson pointed to Facebook’s four platforms – Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram – describing them as the “new store front” for retailers, which can be used as enablers of business growth and to help retailers drive sale.

Everson also used her keynote to reiterate's Facebook's commitment to a full-scale investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where the personal data of over 50 million Facebook profiles has thought to have been exploited for political gain.