Instagram AR try-on. Brief description of the plunge:
In an effort to make social commerce more accessible, Facebook is expanding its “Shops” feature on WhatsApp, the social network announced Tuesday. In the next few months, the platform will also extend the ratings and reviews features to Instagram’s “Shops.”
WhatsApp sellers in the U.S. will be able to integrate their products from the Stores into Marketplace, the company said. The platform also said it will introduce advertising tools to help companies display ads based on customer preferences and will soon allow merchants to offer personalized promotions to select consumers.
At the same time, Facebook announced that it will add AR fitting features to Instagram through new API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp and will begin testing a new visual search tool based on artificial intelligence.
Facebook is taking steps to further develop its social commerce offerings by expanding “Shopping” and experimenting with AR and artificial intelligence tools on Instagram.
According to the company, the social platform’s “Stores” feature currently has more than 1.2 million monthly active users and more than 300 million monthly “Stores” visitors. The expansion on WhatsApp will increase the reach of the “Stores” tool, and the company is waiving fees for business sellers through June 2022 to support the economic recovery. While WhatsApp users in the U.S. will soon be able to use the tool, the company has not said which other countries will get access to the “Stores” feature.
Instagram is also getting some updates to its own shopping experience with new visual discovery tools. Facebook said it is rolling out tools that allow brands to create AR product catalogs in ads that will automatically show shoppers relevant products based on their interests. In the future, Instagram shoppers will also be able to start visual searches based on their own photos. Instagram will be able to try on AR clothing through partnerships with Modiface and Perfect Corp., akin to the tactics of companies like Google and Snapchat, which have partnered with Perfect Corp. to create augmented reality tools.
Facebook’s new social commerce features follow previous steps the company has taken with its competitors to create commerce tools that combine shopping with social media browsing. Back in December, Instagram introduced Shopping in Reels, a feature that allows sellers and creators to tag items for sale when they create videos in the app. Earlier that year, Pinterest also launched a “Shop” tab that allows consumers to browse items in stock using the in-app search function or other users’ message boards.
As tech companies invest more in in-app shopping features, more consumers seem willing to shop through social media.
According to Poshmark’s 2020 report, 58% of consumers are willing to shop through social media rather than on the company’s website. Similarly, a recent NPD study found that more than half of respondents buy after viewing content on their Facebook and Instagram feeds. Facebook was the top platform where shoppers discovered and learned about products on social media, followed by Instagram and Pinterest.