The idea of eCommerce brands using social networks to promote products to their customers is nothing new, but really great, outside the box approaches are harder to come by. Here’s one we haven’t seen before: IKEA built a functional store within Instagram, using profiles as landing pages and individual photos for categories and specific products. When you start tapping through it, it’s an intricate web of pages, tags, and photos.
From the main profile, @IKEA_ps_2014, you can choose one of six categories to browse. Let’s say you’re looking for a new end table for your living room, so you select ‘Tables.’ From there, you’re taken to what amounts to one regular Instagram photo, but its laced with photo tags of the products in that image. Simply tapping the picture, as it instructs you to do, displays all the tags of products in that photo. From there, you can tap the one you’re most interested in to see more. You’ll be transported off to yet another Instagram profile, specifically for that one product.
You’re starting to see the complexity by now, right? It gets even better.
As any good brand should, IKEA encourage user engagement by asking its customers to upload photos of products they already own. If you have one of the pieces of furniture they have on display, you can tag it so others browsing for that product can find it on the publicly tagged tab of the profile.
When you find the item you’d like to purchase, each profile page includes links back to IKEA’s actual website, where you can add the item to your cart and checkout as you normally would. The idea of making a purchase isn’t any different; rather, the way you go about browsing has been specifically setup for Instagram.
If you navigate to the @IKDEA_ps_2014 Instagram page on your browser, it won’t look right at all, although technically all the browsing and shopping functionality is still there. For the full effect, you’ll need to use your mobile device. But then again, that’s what 99.9% of Instagram users are doing, anyway.
The IKEA PS 2014 Instagram project was the brainchild of Russian marketing firm ‘Instinct,’ who created the complex web of profiles, pages, tags, and photos. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that it’s a unique take on blending eCommerce with one of the world’s most popular social networks. Personally, I’m anxious to hear of the results it produces after it’s been live for a few months.