By: Omnia Amin

Instagram in the Middle East is becoming more powerful everyday as a marketing tool, Business owners with the differences of their products and services are now considering Instagram as a main advertising tool after years of thinking of it as a closed platform to celebrities and their selfies or fashionistas and fashion geeks.

Now, the major companies and brands are using it to fully exploit its potential and fulfill the communication of their business goals. especially Brands within industries that have specific segments containing younger adults ages 18 to 29 or mainly targeting females.

Instagram as a business platform is getting cooler everyday as they always update the app to make it easier to the business use. First they started with the contact button, to allow the followers and clients to contact the store via email directly from the app. Then, they introduced the analytic reports that is so similar to the analytic tools on Facebook and include follower growth, impressions on a post, engagements on a post, clicks to website, top posts, total reach, follower demographics, and when your followers are most active. Now, Instagram has recently added the newest feature to help businesses get cooler which is: the shopping tags feature.

So what is the Shopping tags?

the idea was inspired after Instagram made an internal survey on the shopping habits of their users, then they found that the majority of the purchases take more than one day to take the purchasing decision, when only 21% of purchases are actually made within a day, which indicate them that the users like to take time, compare the products and study it very well before buying, and shopping tags allow that “thinking time,” offering more in-depth posts for products, as the main concept of the tag is helping in product discovery and allow brands to help their followers “better understand the products they’re interested in.”

How it works

Brands can tag products (up to five products) in each Instagram post, by those tags, users will see a tap to view icon in the bottom left corner of the post. by Clicking the tagged products will be highlighted, along with their price, and the user will be able to view more detailed information, and those who are interested in making a purchase can click on a Shop Now link that takes them to the brand’s website.

Instagram’s new shopping functionality will hopefully be available to marketers soon. But is now tested by 20 US-based retail stores who have high hopes for what it can help them accomplish., among those 20 retail stores are JackThreads and Target.