Daily Dose of iQ: 'Like2Buy' Brings E-Commerce to Instagram

Sep 03, 2014 — Larissa Hsia

Tech Times reported on Friday (Aug. 29) about Like2Buy, a platform created by Curalate, which allows Instagram users to purchase what they see on their Instagram feeds. Nordstrom, Target and Charlotte Russe are the first companies to get on board.

"Using the Like2Buy platform, users can access the profile pages of the retailers to look through galleries of Instagram pictures that they can buy from," wrote Tech Times' Aaron Mamiit. "Clicking on the picture will take the user to the website of the retailer, where product details and reviews are available. The user can then purchase the items through a secure page set up by the retail company."

This is great, but Like2Buy needs to be a Shazam to really become a success.

Social commerce is an emerging field right now, with giants like Facebook, Pinterest and Amazon (via Twitter) looking to cash in. Now, with Like2Buy, major retailers can sell items via Instagram.

I'm an Instagram user and can definitely see the value of buying or saving an item found through a participating retailer's instagram feed. But the real deal for me will be when I take an Instagram say, of a purse that I see someone using, and then am given the opportunity to purchase it immediately as opposed to going to Nordstrom's Instagram feed, having to visually search and then buy. For Like2Buy, they would need to be a Shazam to really make it a success. Little steps. (Editor's note: Amazon's Fire Phone has a "Firefly" feature that does this Shazam-like e-commerce. CNET's Jessica Dolcourt notes that a number of third-party apps also do this.)

In the article, Mamiit refers to a Forrester Research study that says Instagram leads to better brand engagement than Facebook (58 times more) and Twitter (120 times more). Makes sense, as Instagram is more image-based and (like Twitter and unlike Facebook), it allows regular people to follow celebrities’ every move.

It would be cool for Like2Buy retailers to show an Instagram feed of celebs wearing their stuff.

One would assume that participating retailers have offer a great feed of celebs wearing their stuff. I could see the appeal of buying that thing that you just saw Beyoncé or Angelina wearing… It could be pretty far-reaching say, from the exact color of lipstick or nail polish, smartphone case, purse or skirt. I recently saw someone wearing a shirt that I liked and made a note to look for it in stores, but for the life of me I haven’t seen it anywhere. Again, I need a Shazam-type app for shopping.

In terms of social media, Pinterest may be the best social media site for “selling” things because the content is already curated based on a user’s interests. It’s worth noting that Pinterest is predominantly used by females. Social commerce may soon be dominated by females as well, mostly because we love to shop, we are generally the “peacock” in the male/female relationship (I’m sure there are studies about this). And as evidenced by Like2Buy, our current choices when it comes to fashion (I would include home fashion here) are endless.

Pinterest and Instagram are strategically placed to cash in on female buying power.

There are many articles on social media and female buying power, these guys say it best. The gist of it is that women dominate consumer purchases and image-based social media is what appeals to them, so for this very reason Pinterest and Instragram are strategically placed to cash in on this buying power. With advances in technology and more women using technology, social commerce domination by women is inevitable in my opinion. Here’s another link from 2 years ago: http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/04/25/pinterest-leads-sales

Topics: Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Business Intelligence, e-Commerce, Retail Marketing

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