Instagram makes us want to buy things. Or, if you're me, makes you want to lead the exact same life as Miranda Kerr (except we can move Orlando Bloom back in to the picture; I'm okay with that). But I digress. Like many other social platforms, Instagram is an endless source of inspiration — especially when it comes to fashion. But unlike Pinterest or Facebook, there's no easy way to go directly from a photo of an item to a shoppable link. In an effort to make that process a little easier, Nordstrom is making its Instagrams shoppable with the help of platform Like2Buy.
Following a trend of efforts to make shopping via your phone as easy as possible, Nordstrom (and Target, for that matter) definitely have the right idea. So just how easy is Nordstrom's new Instagram feature? Well, it's fun...but not exactly one-stop shopping.
So let's say you, along with half a million other people, follow Nordstrom on Instagram. You see an image they post, featuring something you just have to have. You then go to their profile and click the Like2Buy link listed in their profile description. This leads you to another page, full of images of Nordstrom items. You then click on your desired photo/item, and that leads you the shoppable link on Nordstrom's website. Phew.
Having played around with the whole process, it sounds slightly more complicated than what it actually is. But it isn't one-click shopping, that's for sure. Now you may be asking yourself, "Geez, how lazy have we really become?" And you would be justified in asking that, but if we (by "we," I mean people much smarter than I am) can develop millions of apps with millions of amazing features, why is shopping via Instagram still taking at least three to four different steps?
It's true that other apps have been released, separate from Instagram, that make browsing and shopping through curated fashion images/items completely seamless. And, to be honest, this seems to make more sense to me. Instagram is, after all, at its core, about inspiration. That, and shameless self(ie)-promotion. But mostly inspiration. Especially if you are a fashion lover, Instagram provides endless ideas for outfits and styling. Do we really want it to become inundated with sales tactics?
But even the one-click shopping apps that have come out aren't entirely practical. Spring, a recently released app, makes shopping for your favorite brands' new items virtually as easy as one tap. Dangerous, I know. But the problem with Spring is the same as part of its appeal; it's almost all high-end, high-priced designer items. While I would love to buy a Mary Katrantzou dress while I casually wait for my dentist appointment, I, like most women, don't have the budget to do so. So I'm here to ask: Where is the happy medium?
With the way that Instagram reaches shoppers, it makes perfect sense that stores like Nordstrom are beginning to use it to their advantage. No one is blaming them. And, of course, it's appealing to have Instagram become shoppable in less steps in the future, but I also think that something is being missed here.
In between the one-click, high-end shopping apps and the six-step shoppable Instagrams is something that makes a little more sense. Something totally separate from Instagram itself, because if you think about it, there is something very unappealing about having our future Instagram feeds be totally cluttered with brands begging us to buy things. Why isn't there an app that's 100 percent shopping oriented, that features fashionable clothes that the average girl can afford on the average paycheck? Call me crazy, but it makes a little more sense.
Images: Nordstrom/Instagram (3)