Instagram users in India might be able to shop inside the app next year, according to a report from Mint.
Users would be able to tap a “buy” button next to a picture of something they like, which would redirect them to the product’s page on the internet, allowing them to complete the purchase.
Instagram has plans to evolve the process to where the transaction will happen on the app itself, and not on an outside web page.
“By the mid of next year, the platform will have a ‘buy’ button, which will redirect users to the product page based on a cost per sale model,” someone familiar with the development told Mint. “Once payments and other aspects are figured out, Instagram will start selling directly.”
The move should increase sales for brands and eCommerce platforms, experts say, but it could also become a threat for online retailers, and especially fashion sites.
Analysts say that 80 percent of India’s online fashion market – valued at $4 billion – is controlled by Flipkart-Myntra and Amazon India.
“Instagram Shopping in its initial form may boost sales for brands and smaller fashion portals by redirecting customers to the merchant websites,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. “That said, Instagram would have to figure out other aspects of customer experience, such as logistics, payments and returns, for them to be able to take users away from fashion eCommerce platforms in the long run.”
The idea of shopping on Instagram isn’t new – the platform has a feature where users can shop through Instagram Stories, from users with large followings or verified pages. Global Instagram users have access through a shopping channel as well.
India’s Instagram base is the second largest outside the U.S.