Instagram announced that it will add a new feature to help connect online shoppers with product launches through its app. Drops is a new e-commerce trend that helps sellers generate interest in upcoming products in the days and weeks leading up to their availability. The products themselves are often only available in limited supplies or for a short period of time, which increases demand.
On Instagram, Drops will now have its own in-app destination at the top of the Shop tab, where consumers can discover, explore and shop the latest product releases, as well as view upcoming launches. Shoppers can also sign up to receive reminders about products they are interested in and look at products and collections from other launches that took place recently on Instagram.
Like other online shopping offered through Instagram, consumers can make their Drops purchases directly in the Instagram app itself through Checkout on the social network itself, not by visiting third-party websites. This model will eventually allow Instagram to charge fees for purchases, something that became a bigger part of Facebook and Instagram’s overall business model in the wake of Apple’s privacy crackdown on iOS apps that affects Facebook’s advertising revenue.
However, Instagram temporarily waived its sales fees to help businesses recovering from Covid’s last year. The move will also help it gain ground in online shopping against new competitors, including TikTok.
Brands on Instagram had been launching Drops before, following the launch of a product reminders feature in 2019 that allowed consumers to receive notifications when an item they were interested in was available for purchase. To date, fashion, beauty, streetwear and other brands took advantage of the feature, the company says, including Hill House Home, Dragun Beauty, adidas and others.
The new Drops location simply organizes product launches in one place to make it easier to browse and shop. Instagram tells us it is selecting featured Drops in this section. To be considered, brands must use the product launch feature available to businesses in Checkout with Instagram.
On an individual brand’s page within Drops, consumers can view information such as when the product was available, pricing and other item details. They can also bookmark the item to add it to a wish list or share the Drop with a friend through Instagram’s direct messaging feature. From the top of the Drops page, users can return to their Cart or Wish List at any time to complete checkout, assuming it’s not too late, of course.
In addition, the brand’s live shopping can be scheduled to align with your products. When the brand goes live on Drops, there is a countdown on the screen and a confetti animation when the product is available.
Currently, the new feature is only available on the Instagram app in the U.S. and only on iOS and Android mobile devices, not on the web.