Instagram to launch shopping features in India in 2019

Indian Instagram users will soon be able to utilise the app’s shopping features, starting from 2019. Users will first be able to shop with an affiliate model and later within the app itself.

Instagram will roll out new shopping features for Indian users in 2019 - Instagram- Facebook

“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,” an anonymous source told Mint. “Once payments and other aspects are figured out, Instagram will start selling directly.”

International fashion brands among others already allow Instagram users to click on images with the “buy” feature that re-directs users to the brand’s e-commerce website. Verified users may also add swipe up links to their Instagram stories that redirect to a product page. These features will soon be available in India and give make it easier for brands to reach customers as Instagram’s popularity in India continues to grow.

India now has the largest Instagram user base outside the US which means there is huge potential for shopping services on the platform. This is compounded by the fact that India is the fastest growing e-commerce market in Asia according to Bain & Co. The app is also becoming a key part of India’s fashion industry.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook is shifting its focus to e-commerce. Given the large reach of both Facebook and Instagram this could direct a new wave shoppers to Indian fashion e-commerce sites when the shopping features launch in the country. However, experts warned Mint that in the long run, the platform could emerge as a competitor to these e-commerce sites if it can properly organise its own logistics.

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