Instagram Launches Live-Stream Shopping Events for the Holidays, Free Shipping on Purchases


Instagram’s leaning further into live-stream commerce with the launch of a new series of shopping-based broadcasts heading into the holidays, which will also incorporate exclusive product launches and influencer recommendations to help maximize interest.

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Instagram will host a range of shopping-based broadcasts over the final two months of the year, including weekly interactive live-streams, starting this week.

As per Instagram:

On Fridays in November, (November 5, 12, 19) look out for the #BuyBlack Live Shopping series to discover brands from talented Black creators. From December 5 – 15, we’re hosting a Holiday Pop-Up Shop LIVE series. Picture the magic and charm of a holiday market, but from the comfort of your couch.”

In addition to this, Instagram will also host a weekly lineup of ‘Guest Edit collections from influencers, starting with a new showcase from Paloma Elsesser.

Instagram’s also launching new Gift Guides by price category on the Shop tab, which will highlight ideas in variable price ranges (up to $250), while it’ll also share new tips from the Instagram Shop team on key seasonal trends and recommendations. The new features will be accessible by tapping  “Holiday Picks” on the Shop tab in the app.

And finally, Instagram’s also looking to help retailers maximize their holiday sales by offering 20% off a users’ first purchase in the app, as well as free shipping on eligible purchases.

How will that process work for merchants?

As shared by @jaketheadnerd, Facebook is alerting merchants that they can apply for $15 in shopping credits on purchases, which will be reimbursed by Facebook at the payout stage.

Facebook shipping notification

That could be a strong lure to generate more conversions direct from Facebook and Instagram over the holiday season.

In case you haven’t heard, live-stream shopping holds major potential, with the process already becoming a major eCommerce element in China, where it’s projected to become a $423 billion industry by 2023.

Which is why YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram are all looking to tap into the trend, aligning with the rising use of online shopping, boosted by the pandemic, and the benefits of live-stream engagement, which can help to trigger engagement and purchase activity.

Whether western audiences will be as open to the process remains to be seen, while the impacts of the great re-opening, as a result of the vaccine roll-out, will also be a factor in take-up. But the opportunity is there, and it’s right now, considering where shopper interest is placed, and how things will change in the coming months.

Which is also why Christmas 2021 could be a turning point in consumer behaviors, and Instagram wants to help play a part in that shift, wherever it can.  





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