Instagram has introduced Drops, the latest addition to the social media platform’s shopping and ecommerce features. Social commerce has become a major part of Instagram’s growth strategy. Since the launch in 2020 of Instagram Shop, the platform introduced shopping to both IGTV and Reels. Drops, a way for brands to share their hottest new products, is likely to resonate with brands hoping to capture online audiences who are increasingly buying from social media platforms.
What Is Instagram Drops?
In marketing lingo, a “drop” is a sneak peak of a product or preview of an upcoming line, intended to build interest and excitement. (Disney Parks successfully used the drop model to create demand for their rose gold Minnie ears back in 2018.) Instagram Drops, located inside the Instagram Shop tab, represents a special spot for online drop previews.
Sarah Perez for TechCrunch reports, “[On Instagram Drops] consumers can discover, browse and shop all the latest product launches as well as view upcoming launches. Shoppers also can sign up to receive reminders about products they’re interested in, and look through products and collections from other drops that recently took place on Instagram.” Brands using Instagram for product drops isn’t new, but by creating a central location with the Drops feature, Instagram can more easily facilitate sales and build consumer excitement.
Once on a brand’s Instagram Drops page, consumers can add items to wishlists, share what they like with friends, see pricing and product details, and, assuming it hasn’t sold out, hold items in their carts until they’re ready to make purchases.
Will Shoppers Be Able To Buy Directly From Instagram Drops?
Yes, consumers can buy directly from Instagram Drops, without being taken to a third-party site. Eventually Instagram will collect fees on sales, but for now Instagram has “temporarily waived its selling fees to help businesses that are recovering from the last year of COVID.” Direct sales from their platforms are going to become a more and more relevant part of Facebook and Instagram’s business models, especially with Apple tracking changes potentially impacting advertising revenues.
How Can Brands Be Considered For Instagram Drops?
Instagram Drops will be curated by Instagram, but brands that want to be considered “need to use the product launch feature which is available to businesses on Checkout with Instagram,” according to TechCrunch. Instagram launched Drops with five brands and will be expanding as Instagram continues to test the feature. Drops is currently only available on Instagram mobile in the U.S.
What Does Instagram Drops Offer Digital Advertisers?
Social commerce is becoming more important to advertisers, particularly with the rise of ecommerce during the pandemic and consumer comfort with ordering online and directly from platforms like Facebook and Instagram. According to eMarketer, “U.S. retail social commerce sales will rise by 34.8% to $36.09 billion this year, representing 4.3% of all retail ecommerce sales. We also revised our 2020 social commerce forecast upward, from 19.8% growth to 37.9% growth.” Instagram Drops and other social commerce opportunities are likely to become an important channel for brands looking to reach shoppers directly and increase ecommerce transactions.
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