Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are each poised to introduce new shopping features as the social media giant hopes to challenge Amazon’s retail dominance.
During Facebook’s annual developer conference F8 yesterday, its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg laid out various upcoming changes to all three platforms which will allow customers to browse, organise delivery and pay for items without ever leaving the “family” of apps.
Firstly Instagram, which has been dramatically expanding its ecommerce capabilities over the last year, is due to introduce a feature which will allow users to instantly purchase items worn by a select group of influencers directly from the app.
Beginning next week a handful of the platforms most prominent influencers, including Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner will be able to tag products in their posts, making them instantly shoppable, allowing users to immediately purchase items they’re wearing.
“Instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or Direct, you can simply tap to see exactly what your favorite creators are wearing and buy it on the spot,” Instagram said.
“From public figures and artists to entrepreneurs and publishers, creators are a cornerstone of the interest community on Instagram. They give you that spark of inspiration for a new skincare routine or that perfect denim jacket.”
Next Facebook, which bought WhatsApp in 2014, said it intends to introduce product catalogues to WhatsApp Business, aiming to support smaller businesses who may not have a website but are using the platform to communicate with customers.
This will allow customers to see what’s available from businesses participating in WhatsApp Business, a standalone subsidiary, when it is rolled out later this year.
Meanwhile Facebook’s own shopping platform Marketplace will soon allow users to purchase items directly through the platform, as well as ship items.
Previously Marketplace has been run more like a classified ads service, allowing local users to advertise their goods largely for collection, but now users will be able to select which shipping carriers they want to offer as options as well as the cost.
Sellers will also now be able to showcase their items via a live broadcast, where they can directly interact with their customers.