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Turning Instagram Into An E-Commerce Platform

Philadelphia startup SpotItBuyIt is trying to help its clients turn Instagram accounts into mobile e-commerce engines, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

The startup’s co-founders had been working with small retailers and “kept hearing the word Instagram, and they really wanted help on converting mobile traffic [on] Instagram into customers,” according to CEO Allison Berliner. “We do that by creating shoppable, mobile-optimized product pages that link to the brand’s website.”

SpotItBuyIt launched in beta in November and had 50 businesses onboard in December. Once it’s out of beta, the company plans to have a subscription-based service that costs $20 per month and also takes a percentage of each sales transaction — probably around 3 percent to cover transaction fees, Berliner said.

The company is also raising a $450,000 seed round and hopes to close the round by spring.

Early clients include Satch & Fable, which makes handmade leather bags and has 8,000 Instagram followers, as well as jewelry-maker Shield & Honor, musicians selling merchandise and artisans who sell beauty products on Etsy. Despite a strong base of Instagram followers, Berliner said Satch & Fable wasn’t able to measure how much social media drives sales before working with SpotItBuyIt.

“Longer term, we see bigger features that include working across social-media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr,” said Berliner. “Having them integrated under one platform will be powerful.”

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