Instagram has today launched a shopping feature allowing users to link directly from a brand's post to its purchase page.
The move is part of the social media giant's evolution to facilitate transactions between businesses using the platform and users, by enabling pictured products to have click-through tags or use the shop button.
Instagram regional product marketing manager Paul Webster said the feature would enhance the user experience "from inspiration right through to purchase" and help businesses attract new customers.
"People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses, and we want that to be a seamless experience," Webster said. "We are really excited about bringing the Shopping on Instagram experience to Kiwi consumers, and businesses of all sizes."
Superette and The Warehouse are the first retailers to use the feature.
Instagram data shows more than 200 million users visit a business profile daily, there are more than 180 million interactions between businesses and the community on the platform each month and 80 per cent of those on the platform follow a business.
Georgia McGillivray, chief executive of influencer marketplace The Social Club which represents 350 brands, said those using Instagram for business would be excited about the feature.
"It's been a long-time coming," McGillivray said. "We're really excited about it, because for us, it removes the clunky link in bio.
"Previously we would have to get all of our influencers or brands to put a comment in their [photo] caption saying 'link in bio' and then a user would have to click through to their page and through the website."
McGillivray said the feature would likely encourage brands and businesses currently not using Instagram to launch on the platform.
"I'd say brands that aren't currently on Instagram, it could give them the push they need to see the value in using Instagram," she said. "Overseas, some brands have seen rises of between 20 and 60 per cent of their business coming from Instagram Shopping."
Instagram could eventually charge to use the feature, McGillivray said, and she was interested to see what it would implement in the future.
"Instagram isn't charging for it at the moment, the value for them is in the data so they basically get to learn about people's purchasing habits to perform better advertising which is really valuable [for them]. It will be interesting to see how that plays out," she said.
"Currently, it is only for physical products, so clothes and beauty products, but it will be really interesting to see if they expand to include services as well," she said.
The feature would also allow brands and influencers to track the success of social media campaigns, she said.
Superette co-founder James Rigden said he believed Instagram Shopping would enhance his clothing brand's appeal to customers.
"Our Instagram account is a source of inspiration and a space where we can share both the Superette brand and lifestyle," Rigden said. "The opportunity Instagram Shopping provides is to turn inspirational posts into a reality - right there and then.
"Our followers can learn everything they need to know about the product and make it their own. The ease, enjoyment and efficiency of this shopping experience is so exciting for us and the Superette customer."
Instagram Shopping is available for business profile accounts.