PopSugar is launching a tool to boost m-commerce sales via Instagram Stories

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PopSugar is launching a digitaltool calledSparkle, designed to help digital retailers and brands boost e-commerce conversions through Instagram Stories, per Digiday.Business Insider Intelligence

Sparkle will enable e-tailers and brands to build fast-loading mobile-first pages that display a collection of products, and will launch as a subscription product later this month. So far, five retailers — including Amazon and Walmart — have been integrated into the tool, with more, including smaller e-tailers and digital brand partners, to be added post-launch.

As Instagram and other mobile-first apps and platforms become more shoppable, it will become increasingly important that virtual product pages load quickly to ensure seamless transactions. At least for now, in-app social shopping among users is likely to be spontaneous and impulsive, meaning that the window of time from the point of discovery to purchase is likely to be extremely narrow.

For example, if an Instagram user swipes up on a Story, and a product page doesn’t load quickly enough, the user is more likely to abandon it, leading to lost potential sales. In fact, PopSugar noted this behavior among users on the publisher’s own Instagram Stories, which motivated it to create the faster-loading format.

Anything that an e-tailer or brand can do to shave milliseconds off of that process could significantly boost conversion rates. To that end, Sparkle will likely roll out across Snapchat, YouTube, or other mobile sites or platforms over time.

Tools that simplify social shopping will help further popularize the behavior with users, and we think Instagram will be the big winner of that trend. Beyond Instagram and other social platforms’ own moves to enhance the in-app shopping experience for users, digital tools like Sparkle that facilitate mobile and social commerce are likely to proliferate as publishers, agencies, or even brands themselves look to boost returns.

As various players across the ecosystem build out new products that further enhance ease-of-use, users are increasingly likely to shop on these apps more often — and more intentionally. More than half (52%) of Gen Zers and 42% of Millennials already primarily find out about new products on social media, versus other mediums, per a Bloomberg/Morning Consult survey of 11,000 US consumers.

While that’s bound to lift up brands and publishers, it will enrich Instagram the most. Facebook still doesn’t break out sales from Instagram, but it’s expected that it will be a growing contributor to the overall business — and likely a lot of those gains will be fueled by e-commerce sales: A more streamlined e-commerce experience on Instagram could add an incremental$10 billion in revenue by 2021, per Deutsche Bank estimates.

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