No other social media platform brings together as many trends as Instagram. Whether its music, art, fashion, lifestyle or travel - countless Instagram users follow their favorite brands and creators to stay up to date. Brands in turn present themselves on the platform in order to connect with customers and create incentives to buy. Aiming to shorten the path from inspiring content to actual purchase, Instagram is increasingly focusing on integrating eCommerce. The new Product Launch Feature continues to contribute to this.

What is the Product Launch Feature?

Instagram's new Product Launch feature consists of a Product Launch Sticker for Instagram Stories, as well as a Product Launch Option for the feed. The Product Launch Sticker is similar to the Countdown Sticker, which has been around for Instagram Stories for quite a while. Brands now have the ability to specify the date and exact time for a product launch when creating the sticker. When the sticker is published to an Instagram Story, the button "Set Reminder" appears for other users. This option enables Instagram users to request a reminder 15 minutes before the actual product launch. This reminder then appears as a push notification on the lock screen of their smartpohne without users having to actively use the app at the time.

The feed option of the Product Launch Feature looks just like the feature for linking products in regular feed posts and also offers the option to set a reminder. As of now, the Product Launch Feature is still being tested by Instagram, with only 20 fashion and beauty brands, including adidas, Levi's, Balmain and NYX, exclisively using it on the American market so far.

Source: Instagram Source: Instagram
What are the Advantages of the new Product Launch Feature?

Since the beginning of last year, Instagram has introduced more and more small new features that simplify the online shopping experience for brands as well as individual users. The new Product Launch Feature is another step towards enabling brands to convert their existing audience on the platform directly into buyers. The reminder function of the Product Launch Feature is one of the main reasons for this: rather than having to actively visit each brand's website to keep up to date with new products, the feature takes effect right at the moment of inspiration and reminds users as soon as the product is actually for sale.

Instagram has become a part of everyday life, especially for young users. More than one in two members of Gen Z, according to surveys, claims to use the app at least once a day. Keeping this in mind, it most definitely makes sense to create incentives for online shopping within the social media platform and seamlessly place them between pictures of friends and acquaintances or influencer content in the feed and Instagram stories. Instagram Branded Content Ads, which were launched a few months ago, are already contributing to this by allowing companies to deliver branded content beyond the reach of their respective creators as advertisements, making them accessible to a wider target audience.

Instead of aiming at the largest reach possible, Instagram's new feature for Product Launches focuses at a trend that has so far been limited mainly to the streetwear industry, but is increasingly finding its way into areas such as fashion, beauty or luxury brands: limited editions and cooperations with creators. The new feature is particularly suited to announce special products - such as the shoe released as part of Donald Glover’s collaboration with adidas, which  Instagram presents as an example on its own blog - or to communicate the restock of pieces that are particularly popular among customers.

What are the long-term Benefits of the Product Launch Feature?

The new Instagram Feature for Product Launches encourages more engagement on the part of customers and thereby actively contributes to brand loyalty. At the same time, the new feature fuels the anticipation of users concerning new product releases and significantly shortens the path from inspiration to conversion. The reminder feature, which actively brings the product back into the minds of users, creates a strong buying incentive, especially when it comes to limited edition products.

As these multiple interactions between brand and customer take place within Instagram itself, it becomes quite likely that customers share their enthusiasm and impressions of the new product on the social media platform as well. This results in authentic user-generated content (UGC), which can then be used effectively for advertising and marketing purposes.

  Source: Instagram

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