Despite having close to a half million Instagram followers, upscale retailer Nordstrom knows that “likes” and “follows” are great for growing community and measuring engagement or affinity, but these actions don’t necessarily translate into hard business metrics. Retailers want to know if that showroom-grade snapshot on social actually sold a tube of lipstick.
“What we’ve primarily done on Instagram is respond to customer questions,” said Bryan Galipeau, director of social media and display at Nordstrom. “Every photo we would post, we would get a number of questions back like, ‘Is that item still available?’ and ‘What does it cost?’”
Because Instagram content essentially lives in its own native environment, “it’s pretty difficult for our customers to make the jump from seeing a picture in the feed and learning more about the item on our site or in our stores,” he added. “The way the platform is set up, there are no links on Instagram and no easy way out to our website.”
Consequently, extracting business value from Instagram is a disjointed process. And, it affected user experience. Consumers had to leave Instagram to search for products on the retail site, thus obscuring Instagram’s attributable value, even though Nordstrom predicted it contributed to ecommerce sales.
Nordstrom began a pilot with Like2Buy, a tool developed by image analytics platform Curalate, enabling users to purchase items directly from their Instagram feeds. When a customer clicks on Nordstrom’s profile link, they are brought to a gallery of shoppable photos from Instagram and can then click-through and purchase directly from Nordstrom.