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In a bid to create a more ‘seamless experience’ for retailers, Instagram is to finally launch shoppable posts, the app’s most requested feature.

The initiative, which was previously only trialled in the US with brands including Warby Parker and JCrew, has now reached Australia with Myer and Country Road being the first to test out the new system.

With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram’s power as a communication and brand building tool is undisputed. Yet without the ability to use links in captions, its full ecommerce potential has remained untapped. Until now.

The development is set to benefit brands first. Consumers have less time and shorter attention spans than ever, so streamlining the shopping journey from inspiration to purchase is essential. The tags that brands can now add will give consumers a clear gateway to shop at the moment of engagement, minimising barriers and boosting sales. They can finally convert their high engaging and expertly curated content into sales, in a couple of clicks

Since the Shopify tool will soon be available for all business accounts, many influencers are also set to benefit. They too will be able to provide shop now links for the brands they collaborate with and may have further access to data that help prove their worth as effective brand ambassadors.

It gives brands yet another reason to engage influencers. They represent another avenue to promote their shoppable tags, influencers often have higher and more engaged followers than a brand’s own account after all.

The demand for content is also likely to increase as brand maximise this opportunity with an ‘always on’ approach. I expect that because of this we’ll continue to see images that were created first and foremost for Instagram being extended across a brand’s ad channels. High quality content is paramount.

The losers are likely to be the now unnecessary tools such as LikeToKnowIt and Like2Buy. Brands and influencers had previously had to use these third party platforms to direct consumers to their ecommerce sites. But the user journey was often clunky and required potential consumers to download the app. This development could make them redundant.

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Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is the co-founder of Vamp. Aaron and Ben McGrath co-founded the company on the principle that influencer marketing is key for brands to succeed in today's digital economy. An advocate of Vamp's talent, Aaron believes that influencers are their own brands and product placement in an influencer's channel is most effective.

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