• Annabelle

How Instagram has changed my shopping habits

In 2017 Instagram introduced the shopping feature on the app, after a brief trial in 2016. As someone who loves online shopping and Instagram, this was ideal for me.

I love seeing influencers share where their clothes are from, I love finding unusual gifts from small businesses using Instagram shopping and I love to have a nose at how much things cost before I click on the website.

However, this Christmas I got to thinking how much Instagram has changed my shopping habits and is it for the better or the worse?

Previously, Instagram was used to see pictures from friends and family, then it became commercialised and saturated with influencers and businesses trying to compete for our attention. Which was bound to happen when you think about the way social media, as a whole, has evolved to suit our modern day lives.

I, personally, have found that I shop a lot more online because of the Instagram shopping feature. I find myself going from browsing my newsfeed to suddenly on a website looking for what I’ve just seen someone wearing or using. It was particularly helpful (or dangerous) during lockdown when you could see the products ‘in action’ without visiting the shop. I have without a doubt spent more money than I would have had without the Instagram shopping app.

On the other hand, it has allowed me to shop from small businesses that I never would have found. There’s a certain t-shirt designer who I have bought three items off now that I wouldn’t have done, if I didn’t have super easy access to her products via Instagram. Finding and supporting small businesses has been one of the best aspects of Instagram shopping - it means that present buying for family and friends is unique and thoughtful.

As a VA who specialises in social media, I have clients who have Instagram to promote their products and I am always encouraging them to utilise the shopping feature. Simply by tagging product tags in Instagram posts, reels or stories we are cutting out the middleman for the customer - making it much quicker and easier for them to buy our products. This way they can also see what the products look like on multiple different people or what they can be used for.

Although I may have spent more money, Instagram shopping is a fantastic feature for both small and big businesses, which I believe will only be used more and more in 2022. What do you think?

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