GroupM: Instagram Has The Potential To Be A Full Funnel Commerce Platform

Kieley Taylor will speak about commerce and video opportunities on Instagram at AdExchanger’s Programmatic IO Innovation Labs, taking place virtually May 18-21.

Of all the trends accelerating due to COVID-19, the uptick in ecommerce is the one most likely to stick – and Instagram is well suited to benefit, says Kieley Taylor, global VP of social at GroupM.

Instagram already has sky high engagement, influencers pumping out content despite production studios on lockdown and an existing investment in commerce-related features.

Also, it’s set to see the largest percentage increase in time spent by users this year compared with Facebook and Snapchat, as per numbers released by eMarketer on Tuesday. EMarketer previously estimated that daily time among adult Instagram users would increase by 24 seconds in 2020. Now, it’s predicting a 13.8% jump to nearly 30 minutes per day – an almost four-minute increase over 2019.

The “Checkout with Instagram” feature could be a $10 billion revenue boost for Facebook in 2021, according to Deutsche Bank.

“All fundamental building blocks are there,” Taylor said.

AdExchanger caught up with Taylor.

AdExchanger: What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear that Instagram is growing faster than other social networks?

KIELEY TAYLOR: That this feels like there’s a whole lot more supply. We also know that demand is diminished, especially in certain sectors. For marketers, this is an opportunity to explore, if they can get advantageous pricing.

Why is Instagram soaring?

It’s likely showing the most resilience of all the social platforms because it has such a longstanding creator community. Where traditional means of production are hindered because of physical distancing, influencers have always been scrappy and they’ve been making a ton of really engaging content from their living rooms all along.

How big is the commerce opportunity on Instagram?

Instagram is about discovery. People are sitting at home right now, and they want a little treat, a little feeling of normalcy, which could lead to impulse purchases.

More broadly, though, Instagram has the potential to be full funnel. I’ve personally gone from not knowing I was in the market for a product to seeing ads well-tailored to my interests and things I’d previously engaged with. And with pixel-based tracking, brands can see if there’s been a purchase. Digital has proven resilient throughout COVID-19 because of the closeness between measurement and the point of sale.

What’s something interesting about social commerce that isn’t widely known?

There’s a company called Respondology that has a tool that uses a hybrid of humans and machine learning to minimize provably false comments and spam in a feed. They have an ecommerce client that was able to drive improved conversion rates when comment moderation was turned on.

If there’s a troll comment right below an ecommerce-oriented ad, it tends to suppress conversion.

How is the coronavirus situation accelerating shopping behavior on Instagram?

Ecommerce is spiking in general, and Instagram commerce is on trend to capture that. Think about what’s missing when you don’t have a physical store experience – you can’t touch a product, feel it, try it on. You can’t ask questions of the clerks. And so ratings, reviews and people sharing their authentic experiences online becomes more important.

But the experience of trialing products is going to be rethought in a post-COVID world, and that aligns with Facebook bringing in more AR advertising. We’re going to get to a place where reality becomes blended and AR becomes more of a utility, a substitute for what generally would have taken place in real life in the past.

So, AR beyond rainbow vomit.

Ha, definitely. We’re even seeing fast casual restaurants exploring an AR effect that makes it feel like you’re at one of their iconic locations, and then you can swipe for online delivery. That’s something we’ve pitched that’s still in concept, but we’re really excited about it.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

 

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