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Nordstrom Helps Bring E-Commerce To Instagram

Nordstrom has become the first retailer to launch the Like2Buy platform, which lets customers click on a product image on the chain’s Instagram page and purchase it immediately from Nordstrom.com. But Nordstrom’s Like2Buy rollout has a few interesting wrinkles, according to Chain Store Age.

The new platform comes from a partnership between Nordstrom, Target and visual marketing and analytics firm Curalate. Target announced it was also rolling out Like2Buy the day after Nordstrom went live with it.

It’s no surprise that visually oriented social platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine are being enabled for E-Commerce. That’s a natural development as social media grows more focused on photos and videos instead of text—and it reflects the preferences of most Millennials for visual social media.

But the fact that Nordstrom and Target are starting their visual E-Commerce efforts on Instagram may point to what bigger social networks will be doing for E-Commerce soon. Facebook and Twitter are both experimenting with their own direct E-Commerce functionality, while right now Instagram can only be enabled for E-Commerce using third-parties. But given that Instagram is owned by Facebook, it may be just a matter of time before that changes.

Another unexpected twist: It’s Nordstrom, not some youth-oriented chain, that’s pioneering Instagram E-Commerce. Nordstrom is both a more high-end retailer and one that targets an older, more established base. But Nordstrom has also tied Pinterest to its in-store shopping experience, and the chain committed to merged channel retail early, so innovating in social E-Commerce may not be such a surprise after all.

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