instagram shopping

With that simple headline, commerce arrived on one of the world’s most engaging visual platforms. An official blog post marked the announcement from the Instagram team.

There would now be ways for businesses to tie purchases to Instagram posts.

This is an exciting inflection point for the travel industry. After all, we are lucky to work in a business that inspires. There is visual content of all kinds in most aspects of our businesses.

Whether it’s a relaxing spa treatment or a wild adventure tour, travel is compelling and shareable. So using these two key qualities as a marker, let’s explore what Instagram’s evolution means for travel.

Compelling commerce

As I come from a hotel background, my mind instantly flows to hoteliers. Instagram is shifting from a pure-play marketing channel to a blend. Like Pinterest, Instagram offers a way to merchandise products visually in a way which can encourage conversion.

Hoteliers are already familiar with the power of images as part of their overall content strategy for their website.

Statistically, we have seen that better and more relevant photography can increase bookings by 5 to 8%. Instagram extends the value of these digital assets and makes them ever more important for the hotelier.

This example from online eyewear business Warby Parker shows how it will work. The user scrolls around an image to see which elements can be bought.

Of course, this is a feature of special interest for those in retail, but let’s not forget our own industry-wide push towards retailing in travel.

As seen in the example above, nuanced branding is much more real. You can now add small details in a post that can support and expand traveler notions about your brand.

This leads to two key takeaways from compelling commerce:

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